December 13, 2018
6:46 PM

Housing & Economic Development Department  
First-Time Homebuyer Program  

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in financial assistance provided to

14 First Time Homebuyers!

*as of 8/8/2018




Program Summary

The First-Time Homebuyer Program promotes homeownership for low and moderate income homebuyers.  The program is intended to assist buyers with financial and technical assistance in purchasing a home. The program expects to serve about twenty (20) homebuyers with the funds authorized by City Council on August 3, 2017. 

Eligible Applicants

Prospective homebuyers must meet the following requirements to be eligible to receive assistance:

  • Purchase a home within the City of Trenton;
  • Must be able to obtain a home loan (mortgage); 
  • Have not owned a home in the last three (3) years (exception: or be a single parent); 
  • Be a qualified low-income or moderate income household;
  • Occupy the property as their primary residence after the purchase;
  • Attend certified housing counseling certificate courses; 
  • Be the owner of the property after purchase; and
  • Be a United States citizen or legal resident.

Eligible participants do not need to be residents of the City of Trenton at the time of application. 

2018 Income Limits

All households applying to the program must be income certified by the City of Trenton. Income information must be provided for all members of the household and cannot exceed 80% of Area Median Income by household size. Income limits are revised by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development on an annual basis and currently set as follows:

Mercer County HUD Section 8 Income Limits

Household Size

Income Limit

1 person


2 persons


3 persons


4 persons


5 persons


6 persons


7 persons


8 persons


If your household income exceeds these limits, please scroll down to the bottom of the page to Other Homebuying Resources

Eligible Properties

Eligible properties for the program are limited to single-family and multi-family homes that will serve as the prospective homebuyer’s primary residence. Multi-family homes are limited to 4 units or less. Housing styles may include attached (row homes), semi-detached (duplexes), detached single-family homes, condominiums, or manufactured homes.

Eligible Uses of Assistance

Eligible homebuyers may receive funds to:

  • Provide down payments; and/or
  • Provide closing costs; and/or
  • Reduce the purchase price (principal write-down).

Resale Restriction

Recipients of assistance are required to maintain the unit as their primary residence for the duration of the restriction period. Annual certification of the owner's occupancy of the home is required during this period.  The length of the term of the restriction period will be dependent on the total amount of assistance provided to the applicant:

  • Less than $15,000 in total assistant: 5 year term
  • $15,000 to $25,000 in total assistance: 10 year term

At the end of the restriction period, the loan will be forgiven. 

Types of Assistance

The minimum level of assistance provided for the First Time Homebuyer Program is $1,000.  The maximum level of assistance a homebuyer can receive towards a transaction is $25,000. The funds can be used for a combination of downpayment and/or closing costs and/or principal write-down. The homebuyer will be encouraged to contribute up to three (3%) of their own funds toward the down payment. All assistance provided by the City’s FTHBP will be based on demonstrated need by the lender or closing agent not to exceed total funds of $25,000. Loans will be provided at zero (0) percent interest.  Prepaid fees will not be reimbursed with closing cost assistance.  Assistance received from this program cannot be combined or used in conjunction with assistance from any other federal sources.

Mortgage Lending Terms

The City of Trenton does not provide mortgages or home loans. However, in order to participate in the Program, loans secured by applicants to purchase must meet the folllowing program requirements:

  • All loans must have a fixed rate interest rate.
  • Lenders are encouraged to offer “below-market” interest rates.
  • Loans should be free of “origination fees” or points.
  • Loans may not exceed a term of more than thirty (30) years.

Also, lenders should make every effort to avoid providing a loan product that requires private mortgage insurance (PMI). 

Homebuyer Counseling

In order to qualify for assistance from this program, applicants must complete at least four (4) hours of homebuyer education or credit counseling courses from a HUD-certified agency. Applicants may contact the  local agency below for counseling or search HUD's Housing counseling database for an agency nearby:


Isles, Inc.
10 Wood St
Trenton, New Jersey 08618-3921

Telephone: 609-341-4783


  HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies 

Program Funding Source

The program is funded by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant and Home Investment Partnership programs to fund the First Time Homebuyer Program. More information on the City’s use of these funding sources can be found on the City’s website at


If you meet the income limits (above), click here to download the First Time Homebuyer Program Application.

The full application (and source documents) should be submitted after you have found a home and it is under contract. If you have any additional questions regarding the program, please call 609-989-3536 or email

Other Homebuying Resources

The State of New Jersey's Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency has several loan products that may be useful to anyone that exceeds the income limits of Trenton's First Time Homebuying Program. Please visit NJ HMFA's Road Home website to learn more.

Last updated 12-19-2017.

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