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Home Ownership

Home Ownership: The “American Dream”

What is the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Option (HCVHO) Program? Quoting the H.U.D. federal Regulations, “The homeownership option is used to assist a family residing in a home purchased and owned by one or more members of the family.”

That simply means…HCV (Section 8) will make housing assistance payments towards a mortgage instead of rent!

As you continue reading, you will see that every current Housing Choice Rental voucher Participant will not qualify for this program.

However, every current Housing Choice Rental Voucher Participant can work towards qualifying for this program.



Federal Regulations require:

  1. The family must be a current participant on the HCV (Section 8) Rental Voucher Program.
  2. The family must have a minimum homeowner down payment of at least 3% of the purchase price and at least 1% must come from the family’s personal resources (2% can come from another source).
  3. The family must not have defaulted on a mortgage while participating in the home ownership option previously.
  4. The family must be a first-time home buyer or elderly or disabled, and cannot presently have any ownership interest in any real estate property.
  5. The family must be income qualified.  The family must meet low income guidelines for family size and be employed for at least one year with earned household income of no less than $16,328.00, unless the family is 62 or older or disabled.
  6. The family must complete all required pre-assistance home ownership counseling.
  7. The family must meet their PHA’s requirements for the program.


LMHA requires:

  1. The family must have been on the HCV (Section 8) rental program for at least one year, must have been in their current unit at least one year, and be able to move with a 30 day notice.
  2. The family must have $2,500.00 in personal resources (bank accounts, FSS escrow funds, gift) to cover the required 1% down payment, the independent inspection, and closing costs incurred with a mortgage.
  3. The family must not owe money for any past debt to LMHA.
  4. The family must complete home ownership counseling. Counseling topics will include:
  5.              a. Budgeting and money management

                 b. Credit counseling where needed

                 c. How to find a home

                 d. Fair housing issues

                 e. Deconcentration issues

                 f. How to negotiate the purchase price of a home

                 g. Real estate settlement procedures

                 h. Mortgage financing options and types, including how

                     to identify loans with oppressive terms and conditions

                 i.  Home maintenance (including grounds maintenance)


Federal Regulations requirements:

  1. The eligible unit must be a one unit property or a single family dwelling.
  2. The unit can be built or already exist at the time the PHA determines the family’s eligibility.
  3. The family must submit a contract of sale for the property.
  4. The seller must be approved by LMHA.
  5. The unit has to pass a Housing Quality inspection conducted by LMHA.
  6. The family must designate a qualified independent inspector and the family must pay for an independent inspection to be done.  A copy of this inspection must be provided to LMHA.


HUD Federal Regulations give full reign to the PHA to set these time limits, so LMHA gives an initial 180 days (6 months) to locate a home, with an additional 60 day extension given in two 30 day increments, to be granted upon request with documentation of the family’s search.

Federal Regulations:

  1. The family must enter into a contract of sale with the seller and provide a copy of said contract to LMHA.
  2. The family must have an independent inspection done on the unit. A copy must be provided to LMHA.

LMHA Requirements:

  1. The family must provide documentation of pre-qualification from a mortgage lender. At that time, a HCVHO Voucher will be issued for the initial 180 days.
  2. After the family has submitted an acceptable contract of sale, LMHA will allow 90 days for closing.
  3. LMHA must perform an inspection on the proposed unit and the unit must pass inspection.


Federal Regulations:

  1. Fifteen years if the initial mortgage is for 20 years or longer (does not include elderly and disabled families).
  2. Ten years if the initial mortgage is less than 20 years (does not include elderly and disabled families).
  3. If a family is considered elderly (62 or older) or disabled (receiving disability income), the assistance will continue for the life of the mortgage, as long as the family remains income eligible by the HCV (Section 8) guidelines.


LMHA will send the Housing Assistance Payment directly to the participant. The family must pay the remaining portion according to the terms of the mortgage.

Notification of open applications are mailed out three times per year (April, August, December). Classes are held in January, May, and September. Start saving now and become part of our growing number of happy home owners who, with the help of LMHA, share in part of the “American Dream”.