Get your mortgage rate now.
  • Home /
  • Learn /
  • 8 First-Time Home Buyer Government Programs 2022 Updates

8 First-Time Home Buyer Government Programs 2022 Updates

Our advice is based on experience in the mortgage industry and we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goal of owning a home. We may receive compensation from partner banks when you view mortgage rates listed on our website.

Note: This page is consistently updated so that you can stay on top of every change and update that relates to first-time home buyers.

The Biden administration continues to be busy in 2022. They are pushing through eight bills geared toward helping first-time home buyers purchase a house.

Some of this help takes the form of tax credit incentives, while others are actual grants that come during the closing process of your home.

In all cases, these bills need to pass through Congress and the President before they become law. The progress of a bill looks like this:

Graphic: Status - Passed Senate

A bill is different than law, so everything that is presented to Congress can change by the time it becomes a law.

Here’s a status update for each of the current proposed Acts, Grants, Credits that pertain to first-time home buyers:

1. First-Time Homebuyer Act of 2021

Graphic: Bill is introduced
  • Status: Introduced to the House, awaiting a vote
  • Originally Introduced: April 28, 2021
  • Latest Action Taken: April 28, 2021 – Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means

The First-Time Homebuyer Act of 2021, also known as the $15000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit, would grant first-time home buyers up to a $15,000 refundable tax credit from the federal government.

The current criteria is as follows, and may change by the time this becomes a law:

  • Must be a first-time home buyer
  • Must not exceed income and purchase price limitations
  • Must be purchasing a primary residence – no second homes or rental properties
  • Must be at least 18 years of age, or married to a person who is 18 years of age
  • Must be purchasing the home from a non-relative

The Bottom Line for First-Time Home Buyers

This isn’t a law yet, so the tax credit isn’t currently available for home buyers.

Learn more about the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.

2. Downpayment Toward Equity Act of 2021

Graphic: Bill is introduced
  • Status: Introduced to the House, awaiting a vote
  • Originally Introduced: April 14, 2021
  • Latest Action Taken: February 10, 2022 Hearings held by the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

The Downpayment Toward Equity Act, also known as the $25,000 First-Time Home Buyer Downpayment Grant, will help give first-time home buyers up to $25,000 in cash towards the purchase of their new house. This can be used for closing costs, down payment, mortgage interest rate reductions, and other home purchase expenses.

The current criteria is as follows, and may change by the time this becomes a law:

  • Must be a first-time home buyer
  • Must meet income and purchase price limitations
  • Must be purchasing a primary residence – no second homes or investments
  • Must use a government-backed mortgage
  • Must have parents or legal guardians who have not owned a home in your lifetime or lost their home to foreclosure or short sale, or lived in foster care during your lifetime

The Bottom Line for First-Time Home Buyers

This isn’t a law yet, so the grant money isn’t currently available for home buyers.

Learn more about the Downpayment Toward Equity Act. ​​

3. Uplifting First-Time Homebuyers Act of 2021

Graphic: Bill is introduced
  • Status: Introduced to the House, awaiting a vote
  • Originally Introduced: June 24, 2021
  • Latest Action Taken: June 24, 2021 – Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means

The Uplifting First-Time Homebuyers Act will let home buyers use their 401k towards the purchase of a home.

Currently, if you have a 401k retirement account, you can early withdraw up to $10,000 penalty-free to put towards the purchase of your first home. The Uplifting First-Time Homebuyers Act of 2021 wants to allow up to a $20,000 early withdrawal from your 401k to buy your first home without incurring penalties.

The current criteria is as follows, and may change by the time this becomes a law:

  • Must be a first-time home buyer
  • Must be withdrawing money from a tax-exempt retirement account
  • Must be using money for the home purchase transaction

The Bottom Line for First-Time Home Buyers

This isn’t a law yet, so home buyers are currently only able to withdraw up to $10,000 penalty-free from their retirement account.

Learn more about the Uplifting First-Time Homebuyers Act.

4. First-Time Homebuyer Refundable Credit via The DASH Act

Graphic: Bill is introduced
  • Status: Introduced to the Senate, awaiting a vote
  • Originally Introduced: August 18, 2021
  • Latest Action Taken: Sept 23, 2021 – “Read twice” and Referred to the Committee on Finance

The Decent, Affordable, Safe Housing for All Act (DASH Act) is similar to the First Time Homebuyer Act of 2021. This bill also offers up to a $15,000 refundable tax credit to first-time home buyers.

While the majority of these bills match, the income limitations differ, making The DASH Act more simple to qualify for.

The current criteria is as follows, and may change by the time this becomes a law:

  • Must be a first-time home buyer
  • Must meet purchase price limitations
  • Must be at least 18 years of age, or married to a person who is 18 years of age
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must have an adjusted gross income of $100,000, or $200,000 for married couples filing jointly
  • Must be purchasing a home

The Bottom Line for First-Time Home Buyers

This isn’t a law yet, so the tax credit isn’t currently available for home buyers.

Learn more about the First-Time Homebuyer Refundable Credit via The DASH Act.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage today.

5. First Generation Down Payment Assistance via the Housing is Infrastructure Act of 2021

Graphic: Bill is introduced
  • Status: Introduced to the House
  • Originally Introduced: July 16, 2021
  • Latest Action Taken: July 22, 2021 – The bill’s sponsor made introductory remarks on the measure

The First Generation Down Payment Assistance is part of the Housing is Infrastructure Act of 2021. This bill is very similar to the Downpayment Toward Equity Act where it offers up to a $25,000 grant to use towards home buying expenses.

The main difference here is that you are considered a first-generation home buyer if your parents or legal guardians don’t currently own a home, which will help more people qualify for the grant.

The current criteria is as follows, and may change by the time this becomes a law:

  • Must be a first-time home buyer
  • Must meet income and purchase price limitations for your area
  • Must be purchasing a primary residence – no second homes or investments
  • Must use a government-backed mortgage
  • Must have parents or legal guardians who don’t currently own a home, or lived in foster care during your lifetime

The Bottom Line for First-Time Home Buyers

This isn’t a law yet, so the grant money isn’t currently available for home buyers.

Learn more about First Generation Down Payment Assistance.

6. Build Back Better Act

Graphic: passed the house
  • Status: Passed House vote, Awaiting Senate vote
  • Originally Introduced: September 27, 2021
  • Latest Action taken: November 9, 2021 – Motion to reconsider laid on the table

The Build Back Better Act is a wide-reaching program from the Biden Administration. It aims to improve everything from education to climate change.

Similar to the Housing is Infrastructure Act of 2021, this program would offer first-time, first-generation home buyers up to a $25,000 grant to be used towards closing costs, down payment, and mortgage interest rate reductions. This bill also makes the same allowance where you are considered a first-generation home buyer if your parents or legal guardians don’t currently own a home, which will help more people qualify for the grant.

The current criteria is as follows, and may change by the time this becomes a law:

  • Must be a first-time home buyer
  • Must meet income and purchase price limitations for your area
  • Must be purchasing a primary residence – no second homes or investments
  • Must use a government-backed mortgage
  • Must have parents or legal guardians who don’t currently own a home, or lived in foster care during your lifetime

Learn more about the Build Back Better Act.

7. Low-Income First Time Home Buyer Act (LIFT)

Graphic: Bill is introduced
  • Status: Introduced to the House
  • Originally Introduced: September 22, 2021
  • Latest Action Taken: September 22, 2021 – Referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

The LIFT Act, also known as the LIFT Homebuyers Act, helps low- and middle-income people buy homes with low mortgage rates and differs from the programs above. This program allows buyers after they’ve purchased a home and can combine with many other programs.

Using low mortgage rates, The LIFT Act helps homebuyers pay off a standard 30-year mortgage in just twenty years. 

The current criteria are as follows and may change by the time this becomes a law:

  • Must be a first-time home buyer
  • Must meet income and purchase price limitations for your area
  • Must use an FHA loan
  • Must have parents or legal guardians who have never owned a home or lived in foster care during your lifetime

Learn more about the Lift Act.

8. Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act Of 2022

Graphic: Bill is introduced
  • Status: Introduced to the House
  • Originally Introduced: April 1, 2022
  • Latest Action Taken: April 1, 2022 – Referred to the Committee on Financial Services

The Transforming Student Debt To Home Equity Act aims to turn renters burdened with student loans into first-time home buyers.

The bill proposes help by providing low mortgage rates, discounts on government-owned homes, and down payment assistance.

The current criteria are as follows and may change by the time this becomes a law:

  • Must be a first-time home buyer
  • Must be approved for a mortgage
  • Must agree to live in your new home for 3 years
  • Must have federal student loans
  • Federal loans must be not in default
  • Must agree to take a homeownership class

Learn more about the Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act.

The Bottom Line for First-Time Home Buyers

These aren’t laws yet, but there are many first-time home buyer programs and grants currently available.

Do you have questions about any of these programs? Feel free to reach out to us in the chat and we are happy to answer any of them for you.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage today.

Dan Green
Dan Green

Dan Green is a former mortgage loan officer and an industry expert. He's appeared on NPR and CNBC, and in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and dozens of local newspapers. Dan has helped millions of first-time home buyers get educated on mortgages, real estate, and personal finance. Have mortgage questions? Ask Dan in the chat.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Receive real estate and mortgage news by email weekly.
Personalized for you & your specific homebuying goals.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.