First-Time Homebuyers Program helps record number of residents achieve the dream of home ownership

HARRISBURG, PA (January 23, 2019) – Dauphin County officials today reported the biggest year yet for their First-Time Homebuyers Program, which provides qualified homebuyers loan assistance of up to $3,000 to put toward the price of a home or closing costs.

In 2018, Dauphin County’s First-Time Homebuyers Program helped 124 residents realize their dream of home ownership – up from 112 in 2017. Of those 124 residents, 45 purchased homes within the City of Harrisburg.

“We’re committed to making the American dream of homeownership easier to reach for everyone,” said Commissioner Mike Pries, who oversees the county’s Community and Economic Development Department, which manages the program. “By helping hard-working residents buy a home and start building up equity, we’re also assisting them in taking the first steps toward financial security." 

Funding for the program is primarily through a $13 Affordable Housing fee added to all mortgages and deeds recorded in the county. When a home is sold or refinanced, the loan is recouped. In 2018, home sales resulted in $158,266 being repaid to the program.

“This program is having a positive effect on the region’s housing market and, by extension, the economy,’’ said board Chairman Jeff Haste. “Promoting home ownership is one of the best ways the county can help keep neighborhoods strong and blight-free.”

The county continues to see more first-time buyers seeking help through the program. In January of 2019, the program will have 10 closings.

From 2010 to 2018, the program has helped 878 county residents buy their first home.

“For most of us, there’s a certain pride when we can buy a home and make it our own,” said Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III. “This program not only helps families get over financial hurdles to home ownership but also benefits our economy.”

In addition to first-time buyers, the program is available for those who have not owned a home in the last three years. Participants are required to meet income-eligibility guidelines and the home must be their primary residence.

For more information about the Dauphin County First-Time Homebuyers Program, call 717-780-6250 or go to