Homeownership Incentives

Welcome to the Office of Homeownership!

The Office of Homeownership offers a variety of incentive programs to homebuyers purchasing in Baltimore City. These incentives can make buying a home more affordable by lowering your closing costs and boosting your downpayment.

All incentives require homeownership counseling from a City-approved homeownership counseling agency within one year before writing an offer on a home, and a minimum $1,000 investment from the homebuyer's own funds towards the purchase of the property. All incentives are provided as five-year forgivable loans except for Live Near Your Work, which is offered as a grant.

Please note that homeownership incentive checks are generally issued 10-15 business days after applications are approved. Unexpected delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic may also occur. Please plan accordingly and submit your application as early as possible, but no later than thirty days before settlement.

Incentive Programs and Contact Information

Basic information about our incentive programs is listed here. For additional general information, contact the Office of Homeownership's main line at 410-396-3124. For information about specific programs, contact the program coordinator listed.

Our application is online.  To register your account, sign in, and submit an application, visit our Applicant Portal. Please note that your housing counseling agency and lender must complete the online application if you are applying for the First-Time Homebuyers Incentive Program.

Baltimore City Employee Homeownership Program - $5,000 for employees of City and quasi-City agencies who have been employed for at least six months. Contact Marilyn Hinton-Brown or call her at 410-396-4104.

Buying Into Baltimore - $5,000 awarded by lottery to people who attend a Live Baltimore Trolley Tour and meet other conditions. Contact Mia Conyer or call her at 410-396-1319.

First-Time Homebuyers Incentive Program - Formerly known as the CDBG Homeownership Assistance Program, this program has been rebranded and revamped! For applications submitted on or after May 1, 2022, the base incentive amount is $10,000 for first-time homebuyers with a household income at or below 80% of the area median income. Current income limits are shown in the table below.

Household Size Income Limit
1 $62,600
2 $71,550
3 $80,500
4 $89,400
5 $96,600
6 $103,750
7 $110,900
8 $118,050

An additional $5,000 bonus is available to homebuyers who (a) purchase the house they have rented and occupied for at least six months, or (b) have a disability or have a household member with a disability. This definition of disability, which is based on federal law, is used for determining eligibility for this program.

An additional $10,000 bonus is available to homebuyers purchasing properties within one of Baltimore City's Impact Investment Areas. To check if a property is located in an Impact Investment Area, follow these instructions:

1. Go to CoDeMap here.

2. In the Layer List, unselect all layers except Impact Investment Areas, which are located under Focus Areas. The Layer List should look like this:

Layer list

... and the map that is generated should look like this (Impact Investment Areas are marked by the yellow and black dotted lines):

Map of Impact Investment Areas

3. Search for the property you are interested in in the search bar in the upper left. The property will be plotted on the map, and you can see if it falls within any of the Impact Investment Areas.

For additional information about the First-Time Homebuyers Incentive Program, Contact Brenda Winston or call 443-984-2264. 

Live Near Your Work - This partnership with participating employers encourages homeownership near places of employment. The City matches employers' contributions between $1,000 and $2,500, for total incentives of $2,000-$5,000+, depending on the employer. Contact Monyea Briggs or call her at 410-396-4209.

Vacants to Value Booster - $10,000 incentive for properties that were subject to a City-issued Vacant Building Notice for at least one year prior to (a) rehabilitation of the property by a developer, or (b) sale of the property to a homebuyer who intends to renovate the property using an acquisition/rehabilitation loan. A Certificate of Occupancy for the property must be submitted at the time of application. Contact Michael Guye or call 410-396-4160.

Incentive Tracker (as of 8/12/22)

Incentives are budgeted annually for the City's fiscal year, which begins July 1 and ends June 30. The chart below shows incentives that are currently available for each program. It has not yet been determined when new funds for the current fiscal year 2023 (July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023) will be available (the funds listed below are carry-over funds from last fiscal year). An announcement will be made on this web page as soon as this information becomes available.

Program Name Remaining Incentives
Baltimore City Employee Homeownership Program 0
Buying Into Baltimore (Apply after three Live Baltimore Trolley tours during the year) 60
First-Time Homebuyers Incentive Program 190
Live Near Your Work 8
Vacants to Value Booster 6

Additional Resources

Baltimore Homeownership Incentive Program Flyer

How to Maximize Your Homebuying Experience 

Office of Homeownership Policies & Procedures 

Online Application Registration and Sign-In

Live Near Your Work Policies & Procedures

Live Near Your Work Employer Verification Form

Live Near Your Work Employer Application

Live Baltimore Home Center

Maryland Mortgage Program