Down Payment Assistance Program

The OWN IT: Building Black Wealth down payment assistance program provides $15,000 for families to use toward the purchase of their first home. This new pilot program — designed specifically to serve people of color in the Greater Madison area — eliminates many of the common restrictions that can over-complicate home buying.

In the pilot phase of the program, education courses and funds are only available for families currently enrolled in One City Schools, school alumni, and current school staff. We hope to expand eligibility in the future. Read more about our partnership with One City Schools, and get answers to common questions about eligibility and why we limit enrollment.

Barriers to Financing

Access to money is one of the biggest barriers to homeownership. Yet many down payment programs create unnecessary barriers that make the entire process of buying a home more complicated. Funds available to Black and Brown families often come with:

  • Income restrictions
  • Sales price limitations
  • Home location restrictions
  • Payback requirements
  • Extra contingencies

OWN IT is Different

Our new funding model eliminates as many restrictions and barriers as possible, while still staying compliant with the Fair Housing Act.

Funds from our program have:

  • No income limits or upper limits on assets
  • No sale price limitations or location restrictions
  • No extra contingencies or special requirements
  • No interest and never require payback
  • No restrictions on who you can work with

To comply with federal rules, funds are:

  • For homebuyers who have not owned a home in the past 3 years
  • Deposited in a restricted account and available for 9 months
  • Available to all families, alumni, and staff with One City Schools — regardless of race — that complete the education program

Families and staff at One City Schools who successfully complete our free education courses and feel ready to purchase a home, can apply for funds. The next application cycle is in June 2022. Learn more about the application process and required steps.

Support the Fund

There are many ways you can contribute to the fund and the success of the education programs developed by OWN IT: Building Black Wealth. Learn about all the ways to contribute and consider making a donation today!