Downpayment Assistance Program

Columbia Valley Housing Association (CVHA) is a local non-profit organization with a mission to promote affordable housing and homeownership for all throughout Chelan and Douglas counties. CVHA provides homebuyer education, counseling, and financial assistance to families earning 80% or lower of the area median income levels. Our goal is to build self-sufficiency, community pride, and family wealth through the stability and security of owning a home. CVHA’s down payment assistance program provides a secondary loan to income-qualified families for closing costs, down payments, or simply to make up the difference between what they have qualified for through a lender and the actual cost of a safe and suitable home. This program helps families keep mortgage payments affordable and then retains that affordability for future families by restricting resale of these homes in the community.

Funding for assistance is available on a first-come-first-served basis depending on a personal interview, verification of the homebuyer’s income, and their ability to qualify for a primary mortgage through a bank, credit union, mortgage broker, or other financial institution such as USDA Rural Housing. Potential homebuyers must have acceptable credit and successfully complete a certified First-Time Homebuyer Education course.

  1. CVHA serves households earning 80% of the area median income (AMI) or lower according to annual HUD income limits for the Chelan-Douglas county area.
  2. Typical down payment assistance amounts range from $5000 – $20,000, depending on funding available and funder restrictions. This assistance can normally be used as needed by the borrower for closing costs, down payment, and/or principal reduction.
  3. Financial assistance is structured as a low-interest (3% simple), deferred-payment loan usually in second or third position to the primary lender. Funding is provided at closing as a cashier’s check to the title company listed on the Purchase and Sale Agreement.
  4. Repayment of this loan is automatically deferred for the first five years to give new homeowners time to stabilize and build up savings. If income increases significantly after five years, repayment begins in affordable monthly amounts as low as $25. If homeowner is on disability, other low fixed income, or income does not increase significantly, repayment will continue to be deferred every five years for up to 25 years. Homeowners may voluntarily begin making payments at any time without penalties.
  5. Loan is legally secured with a Deed of Trust and Promissory Note. CVHA attorneys will invoice a flat fee of $500 to be paid at closing for filing of documents with title company.
  6. Initial loan terms for the primary mortgage must be for a 30-year fixed interest rate, with total mortgage payments (PITI) no more than 35% of gross monthly income. Some lenders require an additional down payment of 3.5% for FHA-insured mortgages, even though CVHA is HUD-certified as a provider of secondary loans for down payment.
  7. CVHA can provide the names of various financial institutions that have approved our Down Payment Assistance Program. The homebuyer may choose any realtor they wish or choose from a list of realtors who are already familiar with CVHA’s homeownership programs. If the sale of the home is facilitated by CVHA without the use of a realtor, a 2% commission is charged.
  8. Potential homebuyers are responsible to have the house inspected by a licensed home inspector before purchasing the home (typically $250-$400) and to provide CVHA with a copy of the inspection report.
  9. Potential homebuyers are also responsible for paying the deposit (earnest money) of $500-$1000 to the seller upon acceptance of their offer and signing of the Purchase and Sale Agreement.
  10. The homeowners must live in the home themselves (owner occupied). None of CVHA’s assistance programs fund rental properties or other income properties.
  11. Restrictions and Conditions:
    1. Full repayment of any CVHA loan is due upon sale of the property or refinancing of the primary mortgage. CVHA loan can be resubordinated if refinance pays no cash out.
    2. Deed restrictions are attached to the property for 25 years requiring that that homeowner must sell to another low-income family at 80% or lower of the area median income. This restriction remains in effect even if all loans are repaid and serves to keep affordable homes out of the rental market and affordable to low- to moderate-income families.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Sherri Schneider by email at or call 509-663-7421 (reception) or 509-264-6776 (cell).


1555 S. Methow Street
Wenatchee, WA 98801

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Tuesday – Thursday: 2 pm-6 pm
Friday-Monday: Closed


Phone: (509) 888-6784
Fax: (509) 663-4761