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Status Indicator: In Progress | On Hold | Complete/Ongoing

Initiative: 3.21 Advance home ownership programs

Connected, Engaged, & Inclusive Communities


The Community Development Department is invested in advancing home ownership opportunities and programs. This initiative aligns with our Forever Home, Durham goal of providing 400 affordable homeownership opportunities for low- to moderate-income homebuyers. We manage the following programs in support of this effort: 1) Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Program, 2) Minor Repair and Substantial Rehabilitation Program, and 3) City-Owned Surplus Lots. 

Key Measures & Data Analysis

  • The Department has numerous programs that are offered within the "advance home ownership programs" initiative. The chart depicts the Minor Repair Projects completed from December 2021 to September 2023.
  • Habitat for Humanity has steadily administered the Minor Repair Program, averaging 2 repairs per month since contract execution. Supply shortages and increased costs of materials, paired with restrictions on working in resident's homes to reduce the spread of COVID-19, impacted program performance.

Completed Minor Repair Projects

Why is it important?

We recognize investment in homeownership programs is crucial in promoting household stability, financial strength, and fostering community belonging. Our Down Payment Assistance Program and City-Owned Surplus Lots programs support eligible households in making homeownership a reality despite challenging real estate market conditions. Additionally, our Repair and Rehabilitation Programs help protect current affordable housing stock and allow Durham residents to remain safely in their homes.

What have we been doing?

Through this initiative, we have been managing the following home ownership programs:

1) Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Program

  • Eligible homebuyers may receive up to $80,000 for down payment and closing costs assistance towards the purchase of a home in the City of Durham. The home must be used as the homebuyer's primary residence. Funds will be provided as a forgivable loan with a 0% interest rate and a 15-year term. Loans will be made on a first-come, first-served basis until $5.7 million in available program funding is depleted.
  • In July 2023, this program was relaunched.
  • In October 2023, revisions were made to the Program Policy and Underwriting Guidelines.
  • Interested homebuyers can apply for Down Payment Assistance through a participating lender.

2) Minor Repair & Substantial Rehabilitation Program

  • The City of Durham Minor Repair & Substantial Rehabilitation Program is administered by Habitat for Humanity of Durham. They help eligible Durham homeowners with limited income correct substandard housing conditions, which pose an imminent threat to life, safety or accessibility.
  • Interested homeowners can apply for assistance through Habitat for Humanity of Durham.

3) City-Owned Surplus Lots

  • On September 29, 2023, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was released for a non-profit development organization to construct affordable for-sale units on 14 City-owned vacant lots.
  • November 29, 2023 was the last day to submit proposals. The Community Development Department Evaluation Team is reviewing proposals during December 2023.

What's next?

In the coming months, we will work towards the following: 

1) Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Program

  • Continued program management and monitoring.

2) Minor Repair & Substantial Rehabilitation Program

  • Release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for interested vendors to apply to administer a Minor Repair and Substantial Rehabilitation program for a 3-year term. We anticipate this RFP will be released in December 2023.

3) City-Owned Surplus Lots

  • The Community Development Evaluation Team will review proposals in December 2023, select a vendor(s) and then work through the contracting process. It is anticipated the project(s) will begin in April 2024.

Budget and Management Services Department
Office of Performance and Innovation
Strategy and Performance Division