Program Aims to Increase Homeownership among Communities of Color

Published on April 20, 2022

Social equity program offers down payment assistance to residents who lived in former redlined areas 

Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST) is proud to offer a new housing program that aims to increase homeownership in communities of color that were historically targeted by discriminatory practices like redlining. The metroDPA Social Equity program provides down payment assistance of either $15,000 or $25,000 to qualifying households.

“We’re focused on leveling the playing field for homeownership opportunities among all of our communities in Denver,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “Far too many households, historically those in communities of color, have been excluded from the American Dream and the wealth-building it offers for these families. This is a step in correcting that.”

The metroDPA Social Equity program is offered to residents and direct descendants of individuals who lived in a Denver neighborhood that was redlined between 1938 and 2000. Applicants must qualify for a 30-year, fixed-rate home loan, earn less than $150,000 per year and must have a credit score above 640.

The Social Equity program offers homeowners $15,000 or $25,000 based upon their income level and approval by HOST. The assistance is an interest-free, three-year forgivable loan. Homeowners may use the funds for a down payment or closing costs to purchase a home anywhere in Front Range areas approved through the metroDPA program. The metroDPA Social Equity program uses a low-rate home loan offered through the metroDPA program.

The program leverages the long-standing metroDPA program, which Denver sponsors and offers to municipalities throughout the Front Range. Offering down payment assistance through pre-approved participating lenders, metroDPA has helped make home ownership possible for over 4,000 households since the program’s inception in 2013.

The metroDPA Social Equity program is designed to mitigate the generational impacts of gentrification and involuntary displacement from historically redlined neighborhoods located within Denver boundaries. “Historically redlined neighborhoods” are defined as those neighborhoods labeled as “D Fourth Grade” and colored red on the 1934 federal Home Owner’s Loan Corporation Residential Security Map of Denver. 

The new program supports HOST’s Five-Year Strategic Plan goal of increasing homeownership among Black, Indigenous and People of Color in Denver from 41% to 45% by 2026. HOST is strongly committed to equity and utilizing data and programs to inform the department’s work so that race is no longer a predictor of housing outcomes.

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