By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — City officials announced the expansion of a program for first-time home buyers on Thursday. It’s called Philly First Home.

Eligible city residents can get up to $10,000 in the form of a loan for a down payment or closing costs.

“We want Philadelphians to be able to become homeowners and long-time residents of their neighborhoods,” mayor Jim Kenney said. “This program increases that possibility and provides more substantial support for residents who are ready to buy their first homes.”

If the resident stays in the home for 15 years, the loan will be forgiven.

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“The Philly First Home program is one more tool in the City’s toolbox to help make home ownership a reality for our residents,” Kenney said. “I want to thank our financing partners for allowing us to increase the amount of down payment assistance available to eligible home buyers. I look forward to seeing this vital program grow and help even more Philadelphians own their own homes.”

Applicants must:

  • Be a first-time home buyer or have not owned a home for at least three years
  • Be a resident of Philadelphia for three years
  • Have a household income at or below 120% of the Area Median Income
  • Complete housing counseling

The program was designed to help neighborhood sustainability and growth, while making home-ownership more affordable. Those interested can contact Division of Housing and Community Development beginning on  June 10.