The Homeownership Dream Come True

September 26, 2022

Categories: Checking Accounts, Credit Cards, Debit Card, Financial Planning, Financial Wellness, Financials 101, First Home Buying, Homebuying, Homeowners, Mortgages, Protecting Your Accounts, Safety & Security, Savings Accounts

By Dawn Kellogg

For many people, owning their first home may seem unattainable – especially in the current market. Competition for homes when they appear on the market is stiff and, in many instances, buyers need to be prepared to bid above the original asking price, and quickly.

The Homebuyer Dream Program (HDP) can make first time homebuying a reality with a $10,000 grant through the Federal Home Loan Bank of NY that includes $9,500 towards a down payment and closing costs and $500 towards homeownership counseling. The best part? The money doesn’t have to be repaid because it is a grant.

There are a limited number of grants available annually on a first come, first served basis.

Who is eligible?

  • First time homebuyers who have not owned a home in the past three years
  • Households at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI): 1 and 2 person households – $79,600 maximum (Tompkins County – $80,160 max); 3+ person households – $91,540 maximum (Tompkins County – $92,184 max)
  • Homebuyers purchasing homes in New York State – within the counties in which The Summit lends.

Homebuyers will have to make a minimum contribution of $1,000 toward the purchase of their home and have a fully executed Purchase and Sales Contract on their first home. They must also have completed a Homeownership Counseling course prior to applying for the program.

Homeownership Counseling

Homeownership Counseling covers the decision to purchase a home, the selection and purchase of a home, issues arising during or affecting the period of ownership of a home (financing, refinancing, default, foreclosure, other financial decisions), and the sale or other disposition of a home.

Regional agencies offering Homeownership Counseling:

The homeowner must agree to maintain ownership and reside in the property as their primary residence for five years from the closing date or repay a prorated share of the Homebuyer Dream grant.

Next Steps:

If you match the eligibility criteria, your next step is to contact a Mortgage Loan Originator. They can talk you through the process and the documents that you will need to provide to support your application.

For more information on the Homebuyer Dream Program through The Summit, contact The Summit Federal Credit Union Mortgage Department at 585-453-7010 or

Dawn Kellogg is the Public Relations and Community Engagement Specialist for The Summit Federal Credit Union.