Oct 17, 2022 - Real Estate

Phoenix residents can get up to $24,500 in down payment assistance

Illustration of a hand placing a quarter into a house chimney

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Canadian bank BMO is expanding its Arizona presence by purchasing Bank of the West, which has several branches in metro Phoenix. Now, BMO is giving some Valley residents as much as $16,000 toward down payment assistance.

Why it matters: Record-high rent prices across the Valley have made it hard for middle-income earners to save enough money to purchase a home.

Details: People who live in majority minority census tracts (ones that have less than 50% non-Hispanic white residents) can qualify for a $13,000 grant from the bank.

  • Households making less than $71,500 a year can get an additional $3,000.
  • There are also other down payment programs that can be layered on to the BMO grants for a total of $24,500.

What they're saying: "We offer such an aggressive amount because we know homebuying is such a challenge in markets like Phoenix," BMO's head of community reinvestment, Scott Freudenberger, tells Axios Phoenix.

  • He says the bank's biggest hurdle is convincing people who've given up on homeownership that it is still within reach with programs like this.
  • He says participants often only have to contribute $1,000-$2,000 toward the down payment and still end up with a monthly mortgage payment similar to what they're paying in rent.

Be smart: You can apply for the program online.

  • It has been extended through Jan. 31, but BMO encourages people to apply as soon as possible.

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