Home Ownership

The Business Center for New Americans helps qualified low to moderate-income New Yorkers become first-time home buyers through:

  • Saving programs that provide financial incentives, encouragement, and practical advice on saving money for a down payment and closing costs
  • Educational resources about the benefits and responsibilities of home ownership - and how the mortgage process works - that help our clients understand what becoming a homeowner entails


BCNA works with clients to qualify for the following three government-sponsored savings programs:

The HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program, which is offered by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, provides a grant up to 6% of a home's purchase price (or $15,000, whichever is greater) to be used towards down payment and closing costs.

The Individual Development Account (IDA,) which is sponsored by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, encourages refugees to establish and fund a savings account to purchase home. This program matches every dollar saved (up to $2,000 per individual or $4,000 for a family) dollar for dollar. An IDA can also be used by refugees to start or expand a business.

The First Home Club Matched Savings Program, offered by the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, provides incentives for prospective home buyers to open and fund a first home savings account.  Qualified individuals can receive $4 for every $1 saved, with a maximum grant of $7,500.


Everyone is welcome to take BCNA's home ownership seminar series to understand what is involved in home ownership, and the home purchasing process, before buying.  This seminar series fulfills the education requirement for both  the HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program and the First Home Club Matched Savings Program.  Topics covered over 3 consecutive evenings include:

  • The benefits and responsibilities of home ownership
  • Special down payment assistance programs
  • Understanding mortgages and the mortgage application process
  • "Ask the Banker" - a Mortgage Banker answers your questions 

For more information, please contact:

Francess Smith

BCNA is proud to help our clients achieve their American Dream.