HOME Program Eligibility Requirements

1. Must be a First-time Homebuyer or not have owned a home within the past 3 years (see >First-time Homebuyer Definition).

2. Gross annual household income must be within 80 percent of the HUD Area Median Income Limit. The 2017 HUD Income Limits effective June 15, 2017 for the City of Norfolk are as follows:

Household Size HUD Income Limit

Household Size
Maximum Household Income Limit
1 Person 
2 Persons
3 Persons
4 Persons
5 Persons
6 Persons
7 Persons
8 Persons

3. Must be pre-approved for a 1st Mortgage Loan by a VHDA-approved Lender. The Pre-approval must specify:


  • a) Pre-approved Loan Amount;
  • b) Fixed Interest Rate pre-approved loan amount is based on (not to exceed 1% above the current VHDA fixed rate).
  • c) Type of Standard Fixed Rate Loan (Conventional, FHA or VA)
  • d) Loan Term of 30 Years.


4. One of the NRHA HOME Program approved and HUD approved Housing Counseling Agencies must certify that Credit of 1st Mortgage Loan Borrower(s) meet HOME Program guidelines (Select How To Apply for list of current approved Housing Counseling Agencies):


  • a) Chapter 7 Bankruptcy must be discharged for at least 2 years;
  • b) Chapter 13 Bankruptcy must be at least 50% paid and lender has received documentation of this from the Trustee that can be submitted to the HOME Program at NRHA.
  • c)  No unpaid or unsatisfied Collections, with the exception of the outstanding unpaid amount of all Medical Collection Accounts being $1,000 or less; and
  • d) No unpaid or unsatisfied Judgments.


5. Household must have verifiable savings of at least $3,000 (currently dated bank account receipt, currently dated bank statement, etc.).

6. Borrower(s) must have a Certificate for completing a VHDA Homeownership Educational Program Class

7. Copy of Credit Report

NOTE: Households interested in downpayment and closing cost assistance from NRHA must be determined eligible for the assistance by the NRHA HOME Program before ratifying a contract. Households with a ratified contract prior to being determined eligible are automatically ineligible for assistance.

Additional Information

First-time Homebuyer Definition

The term “first-time homebuyer” means an individual and his or her spouse who have not owned a home during the 3-year period prior to purchasing a home with down payment and closing cost assistance, except that any individual may not be excluded from consideration as a first-time homebuyer on the basis that one or more of the following exceptions apply:

  • Exception A – The individual is a displaced homemaker* (see definition of displaced homemaker) that, while a homemaker, owned a home with his or her spouse or resided in a home owned by a spouse.
  • Exception B – The individual Is a single parent** (see definition of single parent) that, while married, owned a home with his or her spouse or resided in a home owned by the spouse.
  • Exception C – The individual owns or owned, as a principal residence during such 3-year period, a dwelling unit whose structure is either (i) not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation in accordance with local or other applicable regulations, or (ii) not in compliance with State, local, or model building codes, or other applicable codes, and cannot be brought into compliance with such codes for less than the cost of constructing a permanent structure.

*The term “displaced homemaker” means an individual who – (A) is an adult; (B) has not worked full-time full-year in the labor force for a number of years but has, during such years, worked primarily without remuneration (compensation) to care for the home and family and (C) is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment.

**The term “single parent” means an individual who – (A) is unmarried or legally separated from a spouse; and (B) (i) has one (1) or more minor children for whom the individual has custody or joint custody; or (ii) is pregnant.

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