Assistance eligible to people buying first homes on Maui, Molokai or Lanai

Maui County is accepting applications for its First-Time Home Buyer’s Down Payment Assistance Program, the county announced this week.

The program was established to assist low- to above-moderate income households and educators living on Maui, Molokai and Lanai seeking to purchase their first home could benefit from it. The program provides first-time homebuyers with down payment and/or closing cost assistance of up to 5% of the home purchase price, not to exceed $30,000. Applicants will be selected through a lottery drawing process. The application deadline is Aug. 27.

“This program can help Maui County’s working families attain their dream of homeownership,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “Those who qualify for the program should apply right away.”

The county has allotted $750,000 to the program this year, enough to provide 25 grants if each recipient receives the full $30,000 amount, according to Maelisa Calilao of Maui County’s Housing Division Administration office. Since some families will not receive the maximum amount, more families may be able to benefit from the program, Calilao said.

Maui County did not offer the down payment program last year. In 2019, approximately 400 applicants applied for and 48 received down payment grants totaling $2 million in down payment benefits, Calilao said.

Program details:

  • Applications are available online.
  • A credit pre-approval (not pre-qualification) letter from a mortgage lender that is authorized to do business in Hawaii must be turned in with the completed application.
  • The completed application and credit pre-approval letter must be received by 4:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.
  • The lottery drawing is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, at 9 a.m. via BlueJeans Video Event. Registrations are required.
  • Applicants must be a U.S. citizen and Maui County resident who agrees to occupy the purchased property as a principal residence.
  • Applicants can have a household income of 140% or less of the County’s median annual income (currently $134,260) for the taxable year preceding the application and for the duration of the application process.
  • Applicants must not have a 50% or greater interest in fee simple or leasehold land suitable for dwelling purposes, as determined by the director of Housing and Human Concerns, for a period of at least three calendar years prior to the date the application is submitted.
  • Applicants cannot have assets amounting to more than $75,000, including cash (on hand, checking, savings, certificate of deposits, etc.), securities, stocks or bonds. Retirement accounts and pension funds will not be included in determining an applicant’s total assets.

The maximum grant amount under this program shall not exceed $30,000. The maximum assistance amount to any one borrower shall not exceed 5% of the purchase price or appraised value of the residential property. The actual amount of assistance will be determined by demonstrated need on a case-by-case basis.

Those unable to access an online application may call (808) 270-7351, or go into the office to request further assistance. The Housing Division Office is located at 2065 Main St., Suite 108, Wailuku 96793.

For more information, contact Maelisa Calilao of the Maui County Housing Division Administration office at (808) 270-7356. To register to attend the lottery, contact Jessica Crouse at Jessica.Crouse@co.maui.hi.us or (808) 270-1741.

Learn more and apply