Tennessee agency provides $15,000 incentive to homebuyers

Program available in 55 counties, including Knoxville

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) is working to help new homeowners purchase a house in certain zip codes that were hard hit by the housing downturn.

THDA Executive Director Ralph M. Perrey announced details on the new program Thursday in a joint news conference with Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. Perrey said he hopes to boost home sales and stabilize home values in neighborhoods hit hardest by the housing crisis by attracting home-buyers and stimulating home sales.

“Our goal is to provide a shot in the arm to the neighborhoods and housing markets in Tennessee where the effects of the housing crisis have been most difficult to erase,” said Perrey.

The program is funded by $60 million in federal funding  from the U.S. Department of Treasury as part of their Hardest Hit Fund. Applications open March 1 and funding is dispersed first-come, first serve.

The down payment assistance programs is targets in 55 Tennessee zip codes in 30 Tennessee counties based on a number of “stress” factors, including foreclosures, short sales and negative equity rates. Qualifying Knoxville neighborhoods include North Knoxville, Old North Knoxville, Edgewood, Parkridge, Park City, Whittle Springs, Burlington, West Haven, Lonsdale, Norwood and Pleasant Ridge.

“This program will complement the city’s existing programs to decrease blight, stabilize neighborhoods and help more of our residents become homeowners,” said Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero.

Eligible borrowers can apply for a $15,000 in assistance toward their down payment and closing costs in the form of a forgivable second mortgage loan. Home buyers will make no monthly payments on the second mortgage loan during its 10 year term and it does not accrue any interest. In addition, THDA will forgive 20 percent of the second mortgage loan each year starting in year six. Therefore, if a homeowner does not refinance, sell or move out of their home by the end of the tenth year, the second mortgage loan would be completely forgiven.

Find out if you qualify:


“We’re creating a substantial incentive for homeowners to buy in areas that are struggling for sales right now,” Perrey said. “Increased market activity in these areas will help stabilize property values of existing homeowners, thereby reducing the risk they will fall into delinquency or foreclosure.”‘

To be eligible, you must purchase an existing home (new construction is not allowed) using a Great Choice first mortgage loan in an eligible ZIP Code, and you must complete a THDA-certified Homebuyer Education class with a qualifying agency.

More: Find an approved class

For more information visit THDA.org.


Participating ZIP codes

(Click here to view map on the WATE 6 On Your Side News app)
37037 37040 37042 37073
37086 37110 37115 37148
37172 37186 37207 37208
37217 37218 37303 37311
37321 37323 37404 37406
37411 37412 37416 37660
37716 37721 37813 37821
37871 37912 37914 37917
37921 37924 38012 38016
38018 38053 38063 38105
38107 38109 38111 38115
38116 38122 38125 38127
38128 38133 38134 38135
38141 38301 38305

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