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"Dare to Own the Dream" (DARE)




Dare to Own the Dream Flyer

Housing and Community Development Division

"Dare to Own the Dream" Homeownership Program 

Dare to Own the Dream Flyer

Atrévete a ser dueño del sueño

The City of Tampa offers down payment assistance loans to income-eligible home buyers of property within the City limits of Tampa. The loan is in the second position behind primary financing from a mortgage lender and is typically known as a “silent second” because of the 0% rate and $0 monthly payment. The Deferred Payment Loan (DPL) can remain "silent" as long as the property continues to be the owner's primary residence and owner-occupied. The program provides up to $40,000.00 to assist income-eligible first-time homebuyers to achieve the dream of homeownership.

Here are the basic highlights of the City-Wide “Dare to Own the Dream” Homeownership Program:

  • Potential buyer must begin process with one of the three approved Housing Counseling agencies and MUST NOT be under contract before receiving a reservation number. The Counseling agency will provide education, complete application with client and collect documentation (See attached list of approved agencies).
  • Potential buyer must utilize the services of a Loan Officer and Real Estate Agent (if applicable), who is reflected on the City’s current Approved Lender List and current Approved Realtor List.
  • Up to $40,000.00 toward the purchase of the home:
    • 0-50% AMI                 $40,000.00
    • 50.01%-80% AMI       $30,000.00
    • 80.01%-120% AMI     $20,000.00
    • 120.01%-140% AMI   $15,000.00
  • Fully forgivable after 10 years, assuming still owner occupied.
  • Income calculated based on HOUSEHOLD income, not just the loan applicant.
  • Household income must be at or below 140% Area Median Income (AMI).
  • Debt ratios of 36/43%. Mid-Credit Score of 600.
  • Purchase price up to $350,000.00 (if you qualify for primary financing)
  • Minimum of $2,000 investment from the borrower with at least $1,000 from borrower’s own verifiable funds. The additional $1,000 may include POC’s (appraisal, inspections, etc.)
  • Loan types are flexible – Includes fixed and fully amortized products: FHA, VA and Conventional Affordable Housing Products allowed; ARM loans are not allowed.
  • A full independent Home Inspection by the Buyer & a Pass HQS Inspection by the City are required before closing.


The City of Tampa’s Housing and Community Development Division (HCD), through its Housing Counseling Agency partners, will provide Homebuyer Education classes (English and Spanish), Homebuyer Counseling services and down payment & closing cost assistance funds for qualified homebuyers. To participate, contact any of the following housing counseling agencies to begin the process:


Housing & Education Alliance
9215 N. Florida Ave., Ste. 104
Tampa, FL 33612
(813) 932-HOME (4663)

Real Estate Education and
Community Housing, Inc.

4006 S. MacDill Ave.
Tampa, FL 33611
(813) 397-6208

Solita’s House, Inc.
1029 E. Hillsborough Ave.
Tampa, FL 33604
(813) 425-4847


Tampa Bay Neighborhood Housing Services
608 N. Garden Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33755
(727) 405-2787


Dare to Own the Dream Flyer

Atrévete a ser dueño del sueño

Approved Lender List Updated 4/12/2024

Approved Realtor List Updated 4/12/2024