Home-Buy the American Dream

Down Payment Assistance For First Time Homebuyers

Home-Buy the American Dream (HBAD) is a down payment and closing cost assistance program aimed at supporting low-to-moderate income homebuyers purchase a single-family home, condominium or one-half a duplex in the City of Madison. Applications for this program must be submitted on your behalf by a first mortgage lender. Qualified homebuyers may be eligible for up to $35,000.

For more information about the program and eligibility requirements please review the Home-Buy the American Dream Fact Sheet (English)  (Hmoob)  (Español). (updated 05/20/2024)

Frequently Asked Questions   (updated 05/20/2024)   Education and Counseling Requirements


Home-Buy the American Dream will be making the following changes effective May 1, 2023:

  1. Properties outside the City of Madison are no longer eligible for funding.
  2. Combined Loan to Value limit will increase to 105%.
  3. Applicants that do not invest in any financial retirement accounts, may request a waiver liquid asset requirements.

Processing time for Home-Buy the American Dream is 20 business days.

At the City’s expense, a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection will be ordered on all properties. Properties constructed prior to 1978 will also receive a Lead-Based Paint inspection. Inspections will be conducted through the City of Madison’s contracted inspector. Any failed health and safety items must be repaired prior to closing or 60 days after loan closing, if funds are escrowed.

Home-Buy the American Dream cannot be used with other City funded down payment programs, such as Movin' Out or Habitat for Humanity.

Home-Buy the American Dream Handbook (updated 05/20/2024)

Lenders please submit loan packages securely via email to homeloans@cityofmadison.com 

Appeal Procedure

If an application is rejected by the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist, Community Development Specialist and/or the Community Development Grants Supervisor, the applicant will be given written notification of the rejection and the basis for the rejection. The applicant will also be informed in writing of their rights. If the applicant, within 30 days of the notification of rejection, files a written appeal request with the Community Development Director/Grants Supervisor, they will then schedule with the CDBG Committee to hold an appeal hearing at the next CDBG Committee meeting. The applicant’s request must include the applicant’s name, address, name of the loan program—Home-Buy the American Dream Loan, and a short summary of why they are requesting the appeal. A written determination based upon the appeal hearing, will be provided to the applicant within 30 days following the hearing.

The appeal should be sent to:
City of Madison
Community Development Director/Grants Supervisor
P.O. Box 2627
Madison, WI 53701-2627

Downloadable forms

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