Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority
Homeownership - Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority

What is the HCV Homeownership Program?

Download the Homeownership Flyer

The HCV Homeownership Program is a federal program that allows a household with a Housing Choice Voucher to use the voucher to subsidize a mortgage to purchase a home.

Who is eligible to participate?

Individuals who have a Housing Choice Voucher from CMHA, are in good standing with CMHA, and who demonstrate that they are mortgage-ready (see below) can enter the Homeownership Program

What does it mean to be mortgage-ready?*

Families must provide third-party, written documentation that they meet all CMHA Program requirements before they begin a home search under the HCV Homeownership Program. Review the HCV Homeownership Program checklist below to determine if you are ready to meet with CMHA staff about entering the program.

The HCV Homeownership Readiness Checklist

  • Completion of HUD-certified Homebuyer Education and Financial Literacy courses within the current 12 months;
  • Continuous, full-time employment (at least 30 hours a week) for the previous 12 months, with an annual income of $18,600 or more
  • A credit score of 660 or higher (visit or a HUD certified Financial Advisor);
  • Savings of at least $3,500 held in an account (bank, IDA, or FSS escrow account) in your name;
  • Currently on month-to-month status or within the last two months of a rental contract with your current landlord, family must be:
    • In full compliance with their lease
    • Have not initiated a Move in Program (MIP)/picked up voucher to move
    • Continue to meet the family obligation requirements of the Housing Choice Voucher Program
  • Meet all of the following FHA first-time homebuyer qualifications:
    • No homeownership in the past 3 years
    • Never defaulted on a mortgage
    • No current interest or ownership in any other property.
Exemptions for persons with disabilities: Persons who have been determined to be disabled by the Social Security Administration are exempt from the employment requirement. However, they must meet the annual income calculation of 12 x the current federal SSI monthly benefit amount ($841) and have savings of at least $2,000. *Effective January 1, 2023, the required SSI monthly benefit amount is $914.

Which houses are eligible for purchase?

  1. The unit must be a one-unit property or a single unit in a condominium community.
  2. The unit must be new (under construction) or already exist at the time that CMHA determines the family is eligible for homeownership assistance.
  3. The seller must be approved by CMHA.
  4. The unit must be inspected by an independent and certified professional home inspector chosen and paid for by the family.
  5. The home may be located anywhere within Franklin County, Ohio, and must be listed on the Franklin County Auditor’s website.

How much time is permitted for a home search?

After executing the Statement of Homeownership Obligations (Form-HUD-52649), the participating family must locate a home to purchase and sign a sales contract within 90 calendar days. Any request for an extension beyond the initial 90 days will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and extensions will be at the sole discretion of CMHA. If the family’s search time expires, they must wait 120 calendar days before they may initiate a new search.

What happens after a home purchase contract is executed?

  1. The family must provide CMHA with a copy of the fully executed Purchase Contract and MLS listing with photos within 24 hours of entering into contract.
  2. The family must provide CMHA with a copy of their initial financing package; which CMHA will determine affordability and acceptability on a case-by-case basis.
  3. CMHA will perform an HQS (Housing Quality Standards) inspection on the unit.
  4. All loan closing documents must be provided to CMHA for review and approval at least 3 business days prior to the loan closing date.
  5. Homeownership assistance payments will be made directly to the family. It will be the family’s responsibility to make the entire mortgage payment to the lender in a timely manner.

How long will CMHA assist with mortgage payments?

The mandatory term limit on homeownership assistance is 15 years, if the initial mortgage to finance purchase of the home has a term that is 20 years or longer. In all other cases, the maximum term of homeownership assistance is 10 years. HUD does not permit CMHA to establish shorter or longer maximum terms (elderly and disabled families are exempt from the time limit).

For more information about the Homeownership Program, please contact:

Andréa Rankin
Resident Initiatives Manager