MFA Launches HomeForward Mortgage and Down Payment Assistance Loan Program for Homebuyers

To expand homeownership opportunities for low-and-moderate-income New Mexicans, the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA) recently launched HomeForward, a competitive-rate mortgage and down payment assistance program for first-time and non-first-time homebuyers. The program offers both first mortgage loans and optional second mortgage loans that can provide up to three percent of the home sales price in down payment assistance.

“We know that finding affordable financing and saving money for a down payment can be barriers to homeownership, so this program helps address those needs,” said MFA Executive Director/CEO Isidoro Hernandez. “This is another tool that more New Mexicans can use to help them achieve homeownership, which is the key to building wealth, stability and economic growth within communities.”

The program can be used as a standalone first mortgage loan or can be combined with an optional second mortgage loan to provide down payment assistance of up to three percent of the home sales price. The down payment assistance loan, which can only be used for the down payment and not closing costs, typically amounts to a small monthly payment that is paid in addition to the homeowner’s monthly mortgage payment.

“This a great program for families who may not be first-time homebuyers or families who may not qualify for other MFA programs,” said MFA Director of Homeownership Rene Acuña. “As New Mexico’s state housing agency, we’re always excited to offer new programs that will ultimately help more New Mexicans find a safe, quality, affordable place to call home.”

Income and purchase price limits for the program vary by county, based on county median home price and median income. To qualify, homebuyers need to meet eligibility requirements for the program and then work with an MFA participating lender. A full list of participating lenders can be found at: housingnm.org/homebuyers/mfa-participating-lenders

Through the program, first mortgage loans combined with down payment assistance second mortgage loans can be used to finance any owner-occupied single-family property located within the state of New Mexico. Manufactured homes can also qualify for the program if they meet current Agency or Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) guidelines for Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Fannie Mae (FNMA), Veterans Administration (VA), HUD Section 184, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In 2022, MFA programs provided $430 million in affordable-rate mortgage loans and $15 million in down payment assistance to help more than 2,100 New Mexicans become homeowners. The widespread need for affordable housing in New Mexico was recently identified in a 2022 study commissioned by the MFA-led Housing New Mexico Advisory Committee that found 5,140 new single-family homes are needed every year to meet the growing demand for housing.

The program is funded by the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund. To date, MFA has leveraged 21-to-1 the approximately $61 million dollars the state has invested in the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund since it was created in 2005. This funding generated the development of 4,795 affordable housing units with an economic impact of $580 million across the state.

Last month, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law Senate Bill 381, bipartisan legislation that will provide an estimated $37 million in funding this year to the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund, a fund administered by MFA, to finance the construction and preservation of thousands of additional affordable homes for low-and-moderate-income New Mexicans. 

For more information about MFA’s homeownership and down payment assistance programs, visit: housingnm.org/homebuyers