On Saturday, September 30, 2023, Atlanta Housing and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and its Georgia Field Office hosted the first-ever HUD House Party at The Gathering Spot. The event, aimed at empowering young adults with the resources to achieve homeownership, provided information on available federal resources, policy changes, and local programs like Atlanta Housing’s Down Payment Assistance Program (DPA). The event dispelled common myths around the home-buying process and connected participants directly with lenders that day.

Today, young adults are often discouraged when considering homeownership. Factors including credit history, student debt, and down payment savings often serve as hurdles obstructing the path to homeownership, especially for low-to-moderate-income borrowers and potential first-time homebuyers. Research shows that young adult homeownership has been in decline since the 1960s. The Urban Institute predicts that this pattern will continue for several decades, but the decline will be even more dramatic for African Americans.

New HUD policy changes, including the ability for lenders to use positive rental history in evaluating an applicant’s creditworthiness for an FHA-insured mortgage and lowered thresholds for people with student loan debt, aim to overcome homeownership barriers, particularly for young aspiring homeowners.

At Atlanta Housing, we’re committed to improving homebuyer readiness, expanding access to credit and financial literacy resources, increasing our affordable housing supply, and preserving homeownership. Through our DPA program, we have helped more than 1,700 low-to-moderate income families get on the path to homeownership. Atlanta Housing DPA applicants may be eligible to receive up to $20,000, while AH-assisted residents, veterans, para-professionals and professionals in education, healthcare, and public safety may be eligible to receive up to $25,000. Over the past six years, AH has invested more than $32.4 million in down payment assistance, and in FY23, 176 applicants were awarded with the support needed to make homeownership a reality.

The ’house party’ proved to be an empowering event with attendees learning about policy changes and programs to make homeownership more affordable, accessible, and attainable.

“Secretary Marcia Fudge and the HUD Georgia Field Office are spreading the word to young families that homeownership is a well-trod path to wealth-building, and we couldn’t agree more,” said Atlanta Housing President & CEO Eugene E. Jones, Jr. “The success of our Down Payment Assistance Program is a testament to that. This partnership will truly help us continue to open the door to homeownership for families across our city.”

For more information on Atlanta Housing’s Down Payment Assistance Program click here.