State Launches Programs to Encourage Homebuying

By Gary Scott on December 7, 2020 at 11:16am

Illinoisans who want to purchase a home, but feel they are not in a financial position to do so, now have more options in Illinois. 

The State is launching two new home buyer assistance programs aimed at making home ownership available to more people. 

The first program is called Smart Buy and includes a 30 year fixed rate mortgage and assistance for a down payment or closing costs and can also help with student loan debt. 

Javier Gumucio says that money for assistance can be paid later: “The really neat part about the Smart Buy system is the Student Loan assistance or debt relief which will provide 15% of the purchase price up to $40,000 to pay off all those student loans.” 

The second program known as Opening Doors, is aimed at low to moderate income home buyers. It also includes a 30 year mortgage, with $6,000 for a down payment that is forgiven after five years. 

Gumucio says the programs are aimed at African American and Latino communities, however the programs are available to everyone who qualifies: “The key barriers to home ownership that these two demographics have faced having really involved down payment problems, and then the second barrier being student loan debt.” 

Both programs were created using appropriations allocated to IHDA in Governor J.B. Pritzker ‘s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan and will continue until funds run out. 

Borrowers must meet all eligibility requirements established for IHDA’s DPA programs, and homebuyer education is required. The program is not exclusive to first-time buyers and may be used by buyers in any county in the state. 

Officials say the Smart Buy program is expected to assist approximately 500 to 1000 borrowers, with the Open Doors program expected to assist about 6,000. To find out more information on the Smart Buy and Opening Doors programs, visit