(504) 524-5533

Program Overview


First mortgage and down payment assistance for 1 or 2 unit single family homes

Buying a home is a daunting process, and FNO knows that securing a mortgage and supplying a down payment on a home is a huge obstacle to overcome. That’s why we’re here to help you own your piece of New Orleans by providing a first mortgage paired with down payment assistance options to suit your needs.

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or an experienced homeowner looking to buy a new home, a first mortgage and down payment relief are never far away.

Program Benefits

  • Save money that will help you qualify for the first mortgage.
  • Keep savings that can be used for other household needs, like purchasing appliances or buying furniture.
  • Start with more equity in the home.


Download our program Flyer



Assistance Options


Down Payment Loan


This product is a 30-year FHA or Freddie Mac first mortgage with an interest-free second mortgage (equaling no more than 10% of the purchase price) to use for down payment assistance.



After qualifying for a first mortgage, you’ll receive an interest-free loan as a second mortgage. This second mortgage is to be repaid monthly beginning and ending the same time as the first mortgage payments.


Down Payment Grant


This product is a 30-year FHA or Freddie Mac first mortgage with a forgivable second mortgage (equaling 3% or 5% of your approved home loan) to help with your down payment.



Once you qualify for a first mortgage, you’ll receive a sum of money that you would not have to repay, but you must remain in the home for at least 5 years.



Eligibility & Terms




  • Individuals or families 
  • Household income below $94,360
  • Credit score above 640
  • Total debt load less than 45% of income
  • Earn Homebuyer Education Class Certificate
  • Qualify for first mortgage with participating lender


Where / what:

  • Orleans Parish
  • 1 or 2 unit single family primary residence
  • Move-in ready home (no renovations)


Program Terms

Review the choices below to determine the best first mortgage and down payment assistance option that suits your needs and eligibility.

  • Step 1
  • First Mortgage Options

  • Select one Mortgage Option

Loan Terms 30 Years 30 years 30 years
Total Debt-to-Income Less than 45% Less than 45% Less than 45%
Maximum Units 2 1 2
Max Income $94,360 $53,760 $94,360
Minimum Credit Score 640 640 640
Maximum Mortgage $331,760: 1-unit; $424,800: 2-unit $510,400 No Limit: 1-unit; No Limit: 2-unit
Parish Eligibility Orleans Orleans Orleans
Homebuyer Education & Training First Time Homebuyers & Landlord Training First Time Homebuyers only First Time Homebuyers & Landlord Training
  • Step 2
  • Down Payment Assistance Options


Assistance % 10% (of Purchase Price) 3% or 5% (of First Mortgage Amount)
Interest Rate 0% None
Repayment Terms 30 Years Must remain in home for 5 years
Forgivable No Yes

All properties must be move-in ready (no renovations).
Borrower can only select one 1st mortgage option and one form of down payment assistance.



Resources & FAQs


Participating Lenders

In order to qualify for the program benefits, homebuyers are required to apply for a mortgage at any one of our participating lenders.

Updated: 01/29/2020

Additional Documents


Program FAQs

What is Own New Orleans?
Own New Orleans offers a first mortgage and up to $20,000 of down payment assistance to qualified buyers who want to own a home in New Orleans. Homebuyers can choose the down payment assistance in the form of a forgivable grant at 3% or 5% of the first mortgage or a zero-interest loan at 10% of the purchase price. If you choose the loan option, the amount must not exceed $20,000. If you receive the grant, you must remain in the house for 5 years for the second mortgage to be fully forgiven.


How do I apply?
FANO’s mortgages are originated through our Participating Lenders. If you have a banking relationship with one of these lenders, you may choose to work with them or select another from our list. The lender will be able to guide you on the financial documentation you need to provide and the type of loan product that you would qualify for. If you are a first-time homebuyer, you must also complete a homebuyer education and training course.  The course may be taken on-line or in-person in conjunction with eHome America and the Participating Training Organizations.


What is the minimum required credit score?
The minimum required score is 640 for FHA, Freddie Mac, and VA loans.


What are the income requirements?
The income limit is $94,360 regardless of household size for FHA and VA; for Freddie Mac the income limit is $53,760.


What kind of home can I use the down payment assistance to purchase?
The home must be used as your primary residence but the type of home varies based on the loan product you choose. You may purchase a 1 or 2-unit home (detached or attached), condos or townhomes under the FHA and VA loan products. However, you may only purchase a 1-unit home under Freddie Mac’s loan product. Manufactured housing, mobile, recreational, seasonal or other types of vacation or non-permanent homes are not permitted.


Can I buy a fixer-upper?
Only homes that are move-in ready are eligible for financing in the Own New Orleans program.


Can I buy a double and rent out one side of the home?
Yes. If you choose a FHA or VA loan, you may purchase a double as long as you live in one side as your primary residence.


Do I have to be a first-time homebuyer?
You do not have to be a first-time homebuyer. However, for the Freddie Mac loan product, you cannot own other property at the time of closing.


Do I have to complete homebuyer training?
If you are a first-time homebuyer, you must complete homebuyer training. The course may be taken on-line through eHome America in conjunction with the Participating Homebuyer Training Organizations or in-person at one of their local classes. The course must be completed prior to loan closing.


What are the terms of the 1st mortgage?
The first mortgage is a 30-year, fixed rate, amortizing loan with 360 level monthly payments. The interest rate is subject to current market conditions and changes daily. The maximum loan size is subject to current guidelines; for 2020, the maximum mortgage for FHA is $331,760 for 1-unit and $424,800 for 2-unit homes. For Freddie Mac the maximum mortgage is $510,400 for 1-unit homes only. There is currently no maximum mortgage limit for VA for either 1 or 2 unit homes.


What are the terms of the down payment assistance?
The down payment assistance is in the form of a second mortgage and can be taken as a grant or a loan. The grant is a 5-year deferred loan that is forgiven at the rate of 20% per year provided that the borrower is not in default. The loan is a 30-year amortizing loan with monthly payments due; this loan is never forgiven.


How may I use funds from the down payment assistance?
The proceeds may be used for down payment, closing costs, prepaid, upfront private mortgage insurance and other related program and mortgage loan fees and expenses. The second mortgage proceeds may not be used to pay off debt.

*All of these questions are subject to current guidelines.

We're Here To Help.

To receive additional information about our programs, please fill out the form with your contact information, and we will send you an email with program details.
For general questions and inquiries, visit our Contact page.

For questions, please call:
(504) 524-5533

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