TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a new program that will help “hometown heroes” like nurses, police officers and teachers pay for housing during the ongoing housing crisis.

The $100 million “Hometown Heroes” assistance program will provide first-time homebuyers with as much as 5% of the first mortgage loan amount up to $25,000 to help them cover closing costs and down payments on new homes. Closing cost assistance will come in the form of a 0%, non-amortizing, 30-year deferred second mortgage, the governor’s office said.

Those who are considered “hometown heroes” include:

  • Veterans, active-duty military and surviving spouses
  • Teachers
  • Law enforcement
  • Child care operators/daycare instructors
  • Paramedics, EMTs, 911 operators, firefighters
  • Registered nurses, home health aides, practitioners
  • Correctional officers, probation officers

To qualify for this program, homebuyers:

  • Must connect with a participating loan officer
  • Have a minimum credit score of 640
  • Provide certification for one of the eligible occupations
  • Meet the income threshold for their county.

Florida Housing secured $100 million from the state Legislature to create the program. The funds will be available starting on June 1.

For more information, visit www.floridahousing.org/hometownheroes.