Frequently Asked Questions

Buying Power FAQs

How much is the Buying Power grant?
The Buying Power grant provides up to $5,000 in assistance to cover ½ of required down payment and closing costs less any seller concessions, credits and pre-paids.


How do I qualify for the Buying Power grant program?
You must be a first-time homebuyer, not have owned a home within three years. Your gross annual income must not exceed 80% of the Area Median Income per household size. Please see Buying Power Program for income guidelines. You must purchase an existing home within in the city limits of Grand Prairie.


Do I have to live in the home for a certain amount of time or pay any money back in order to receive the grant assistance?
No. There are no residency restrictions to the grant and you do not have to repay any of the grant back to the city.


Can I use the full grant amount towards my down payment?
No. The grant only covers ½ of your required down payment. The remaining portion of the grant can be used for closing costs.


How do I qualify based on my income?
You will submit an application with supporting income documentation of all household members. We will count the gross annual income for all adult household members. The total household income must not exceed 80% of area median income per household size.


Do I have to use a preferred lender or realtor?
No, we do not have preferred lenders or realtors. However, it is highly recommended that your lender and realtor be knowledgeable about the Buying Power grant program guidelines.


What types of home can I purchase?
You may purchase any existing home within the city limits of Grand Prairie. A custom-built or new construction property is not eligible unless it was constructed under an approved affordable housing program.


Are there any inspections required?
Yes. There are two inspections required by the City of Grand Prairie. You must purchase a Texas Real Estate Commission Independent (TREC) Home Inspection report and provide a copy to the City of Grand Prairie. Also, the property must pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection performed by the city.


Can I receive money back at closing?
No. The borrower must not receive any funds back at closing.


Can I stack other down payment assistance programs with the Buying Power grant program?
Yes. You may use other down payment assistance programs in conjunction with our grant program. If you are unsure please contact a Neighborhood Service Specialist for clarification.

Emergency Program FAQs

What qualifies as an emergency?
An emergency is a condition that occurs without warning and is detrimental to life, health, and/or safety, requiring immediate action.


What are the eligibility requirements for the emergency program?
Applicants must not exceed more that 50% of area median income and also be the owner of the property.


What are some examples of an emergency repair?
Broken pipes, water heaters, HVAC issues, electrical, etc.


Will you put a lien on my property?
No. Liens do not apply to the emergency repair program.


Is there a limit on the amount for an emergency repair?
Yes. There is a $5,000.00 limit on emergencies. The Neighborhood Services manager must pre-approve all emergency repair work before it is to be performed.

HCV Homeownership FAQs

If I wish to purchase my first home but need help meeting the monthly mortgage and other homeownership expenses, is there a program that will help me?
Yes, it is called the Homeownership Voucher Program.


If I am currently a participant in the Housing Choice Voucher program and receive rental assistance, can I use my voucher to buy a home and receive monthly assistance in meeting homeownership expenses?
Yes, if your local PHA participates in the homeownership voucher program, and you meet income and other eligibility requirements.


If I don’t have a rental voucher what do I do?
You have to apply for a housing choice voucher at the local PHA.


Are there any standards for the home to be purchased under this program?
The home must pass an initial housing quality standards inspection conducted by the PHA and an independent home inspection before the PHA may approve the purchase by the family.


What families are eligible to apply for homeownership vouchers?
Families must meet these requirements:

  • First-time homeowner or cooperative member.
  • No family member has owned or had ownership interest in their residence for at least three years.
  • Except for cooperative members, no member of the family has any ownership interest in any residential property.
  • Minimum income requirement. Except in the case of disabled families, the qualified annual income of the adult family members who will own the home must not be less than the Federal minimum hourly wage multiplied by 2,000 hours. For disabled families, the qualified annual income of the adult family members who will own the home must not be less than the monthly Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit for an individual living alone multiplied by 12. The PHA may also establish a higher minimum income requirement for either or both types of families. Except in the case of an elderly or disabled family, welfare assistance is not counted in determining whether the family meets the minimum income requirement.
  • Employment requirement. Except in the case of elderly and disabled families, one or more adults in the family who will own the home is currently employed on a full-time basis and has been continuously employed on a full-time basis for at least one year before commencement of homeownership assistance.
  • Additional PHA eligibility requirements. The family meets any other initial eligibility requirements set by the PHA.
  • Homeownership counseling. The family must attend and satisfactorily complete the PHA’s pre-assistance homeownership and housing counseling program.


What are monthly homeownership expenses?
Monthly homeownership expenses include:

  1. Mortgage principal and interest,
  2. Mortgage insurance premium,
  3. Real estate taxes and homeowner insurance,
  4. Principal and interest on debt to finance major repairs and replacements for the home, and
  5. Principal and interest on debt to finance costs to make the home accessible for a family member with disabilities if the PHA determines it is needed as a reasonable accommodation.


How much financial assistance can PHAs provide in each voucher?
The PHA uses its normal voucher program payment standard schedule to determine the amount of subsidy. The housing assistance payment (HAP) is the lesser of either the payment standard minus the total tenant payment or the family’s monthly homeownership expenses minus the total tenant payment. The PHA may make the HAP payment directly to the family or to the lender.


What is the total monthly tenant payment?
For purposes of calculating the amount of financial assistance to be provided by the PHA, the monthly tenant payment is generally 30% of the family’s adjusted monthly income. For more information about how to determine total tenant payment contact your local PHA.


What do I have to pay each month?
You have to pay at least the total tenant payment (approximately 30% of adjusted monthly income). However, if you purchase a home that has monthly expenses higher than those covered by the total of the financial assistance provided by the PHA together with the tenant payment (30% of income), any additional amount will have to be paid by the family. To keep families from purchasing a home that will result in a payment the family cannot afford, the PHA, may set affordability limits for their program.


Do families have to purchase a home in the jurisdiction where the PHA issued the voucher?
No. Families that are eligible for homeownership assistance may purchase a home outside the initial jurisdiction if the PHA in the new jurisdiction administers the homeownership voucher program and receives new families into the program. However, the family may only use the voucher to purchase a unit in an area where the family is income eligible at admission to the program.


How long can a family receive assistance under this program?
There is no time limit for an elderly household or a disabled family. For all other families, there is a mandatory term limit of 15 years if the initial mortgage incurred to finance purchase of the home has a term that is 20 years or longer, and for all other cases the maximum term of homeownership assistance is 10 years.

Rehabilitation Program FAQs

Will there be a lien placed on my property?
Yes. All work performed on a property will have a lien placed on it for a period of seven to ten years.


Do my property taxes have to be current?
Yes. There are a few exceptions on a case by case basis.


How old do I have to be in order to qualify for the Rehab program?
You must be 60 years of age or older and/or disabled.


Do I qualify for assistance if I have refinanced my property within the last three years?
Yes. It is possible depending on the equity value of the property.


Am I eligible if I have a reverse mortgage?


Am I able to sell the property after receiving assistance?
Yes. However, the lien would have to be satisfied at sale or has to be expired.


What are the income limits for my eligibility?
80% of area median income per household size.


Will you count all household members income for my eligibility?
Yes. All household members’ income will be counted.


How much can be spent on a Rehab?
Up to $25,000.00 subject to equity value and the amount of work performed.


Does my name have to be on the deed to qualify?
Yes, but there are some exceptions. Please contact Neighborhood Services for further information.


Will I have to pay anything back?
Yes. It depends on your qualified income level.

Reconstruction Program FAQ

Where will I live during the reconstruction process?
We will relocate you to a house or an apartment.


Will you help me with moving costs?
Yes. We will cover all costs pertaining to moving, relocation, and storage of your belongings during the reconstruction process.


How long does the reconstruction process take to complete?
Typically, anywhere from three to five months considering weather.


How long will the lien term be on a reconstruction property?
Liens placed on a reconstructed property are 20 year terms.


How do you determine if a property needs to be reconstructed?
A Neighborhood Services REHAB coordinator will make that determination based on overall assessment of the property’s condition.