Minnesota First Time Home Buyer Programs

Minnesota Housing offers a variety of loan programs and options to help buyers purchase their first home.

Minnesota Mortgage Program (MMP)

The Minnesota Mortgage Program helps low to moderate income Minnesotans buy their first home. Applicants who qualify for an MMP loan are first time home buyers who have acceptable credit, an income at or below prescribed Minnesota Housing income limits, and who want to buy a qualifying home.  The home must be within the 11-County Twin Cities metro area and 1-4 person households must have income under $67,200.  These low interest, fixed rate loans are affordable and available to eligible homebuyers statewide.

Community Activity-Set Aside Program (CASA)

Community Activity Set Aside program (CASA) helps low to moderate income Minnesotans buy their first home. These low interest, fixed rate loans are affordable and available to eligible homebuyers through participating lenders in numerous communities around Minnesota. Using CASA gives qualified applicants $5000 toward down payment or closing costs.  You are required to have $1000 of your own funds into the transaction. Homebuyer education is required for all borrowers receiving a CASA loan.

To qualify for a CASA loan, applicants must be first time home buyers with acceptable credit and an income at or below stipulated Minnesota Housing income limits who want to buy a qualifying home. Some applicants may also qualify as an eligible targeted market for one of CASA’s  Community Initiatives.

CASA Eligible Target Markets:

* Emerging Markets:  Households of Color or Hispanic Ethnicity; pilots endorsed by the Emerging Markets Homeownership Initiative (EMHI)

* Single Headed Households:  A family with one adult householder, no spouse or partner in the household, and one or more dependents living at the household.

Homeownership Assistance Fund (HAF)

Minnesota Housing provides qualified homebuyers with interest-free, deferred loans to help with down-payment and closing costs through the Homeownership Assistance Fund (HAF). Before signing a purchase agreement, first time homebuyers should determine if they are qualified for down-payment and closing costs assistance via HAF. Only Minnesota Housing approved lenders can process these loans.  Home Buyers may be eligible if they meet one of the following criteria:

* Borrowers eligible for the CASA program

* Qualify as an eligible target market

* Household earning 60% (or less) of area median income

Homeowner Entry Loan Program (HOME HELP)

Minnesota Housing provides eligible homebuyers who qualify for a Minnesota Housing loan with the opportunity to receive an interest-free, deferred loan to help with down-payment and closing costs through the Homeowner Entry Loan Program (HOME HELP). Applicants may be eligible for HOME HELP if they:

* Are spending over 30% of their gross income towards a house payment

* Are eligible for the CASA program

* Have an income at or below HOME HELP program limits (lower than MMP and CASA limits)

* Qualify as an eligible target market for one of CASA’s Community Initiatives approved to offer HOME HELP

HOME HELP provides an interest free, deferred loan with repayment of the full loan amount within the first 5 years of the loan. After the first 5 years, 30% of the initial loan amount is due upon maturity of the CASA first mortgage. First time home buyers can get up to $10,000, which depends on how much their payment is relative to their gross income (housing ratio).

In addition, Minnesota Housing Mortgage Insurance Partners provide lower mortgage insurance rates and involuntary unemployment insurance at no extra cost to borrowers.

Home Buyer Qualifications

To qualify for most of these Minnesota programs, applicants must be a first time home buyer or cannot have owned a home within the previous 3 years.  They must also have reasonable credit.  Income limits and home purchase price limits vary depending on the county.

To qualify for Minnesota Mortgage Programs, applicant MHFA Eligibility Income must not exceed the following:

Household Size 11-County Twin Cities Metro Area* Balance of State
1-4 Persons $67,200 $58,400
5 Person $72,600 $63,100
6 Person $78,000 $67,800
7 Person $83,400 $72,500
8 Person $88,800 $77,100
9 Person $94,100 $81,800
10 Person $99,500 $86,500


The home purchased must fall within the following price limits:

11-County Twin Cities
Metro Area*
Balance of State
$298,125 $237,031


For Minnesota residents who have always dreamed of having a home of their own, these programs can make that a reality.  Even for people who don’t think they can afford it or don’t have a down payment, Minnesota Housing programs can lead them down the path to homeownership.

The process of buying a first home through a Minnesota First Time Home Buyer program can be intimidating. Let us assist you!  We are dedicated to helping you find any grant monies or assistance programs for which you qualify. Our buyer agent services are FREE!  Please contact us for more information.  We have helped hundreds of first time home buyers and we’d like to help you, too!

About Minnesota

Minnesota is a great place to live, work, play, and raise a family. Minnesota supports one of the most diverse economies in the U.S. The region’s healthy collection of companies and economic resilience earned it the title of “best metro center for business” in 2007 by MarketWatch. Minnesota’s commitment to education has given it one of the most educated workforces in the nation. The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, plus the surrounding suburban metropolitan area, provide plenty of entertainment attractions to keep residents occupied, including an extensive arts scene and a variety of sports teams. Known as “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” and with a history of “Big Woods,” Minnesota offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation, from camping, hiking and biking, to boating, fishing, and swimming.

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