July 1, 2009 marked the new fiscal year for SHIP (State Housing Initiative Program), a state funded down payment assistance program for low-level income home buyers. However, this year the $161 million grant used to fund this program has been cut to $30 million to fund the Florida Homebuyer Opportunity Program (FHOP).
The $30 million is split amongst the counties of Florida. Each county then distributes the money based on city/area. In most areas, this will mean that less than 10 first time homebuyers in any given city/area will receive an advance on their $8000 tax credit to use towards the purchase of a new home today.
If you are one of the lucky few to get the $8000 advance to use towards down payment, mortgage loan closing costs, or pre-pays associated with the purchase, here is what you need to know: Read more here.