Home Ownership Programs

The City of Saint Paul's Department of Planning and Economic Development offers a variety of programs for homeowners and homebuyers.

  • The Downpayment Assistance Program provides financial assistance for homebuyers earning at or below 80% area median income (AMI). Qualified homebuyers can receive up to $40,000 to use towards a home downpayment, closing costs and/or property inspection.
    • First-generation homebuyers are eligible to receive up to an additional $10,000.
    • Homebuyers that are eligible for the Inheritance Fund layers may earn up to 100% AMI and can receive up to an additional $60,000 (for a total of $110,000).
  • The City also offers homeowners no-interest deferred loans for basic and emergency improvements. Qualified homeowners can receive up to $25,000.

Minnesota Housing is a state agency that works with local lenders to help purchase and refinance homes; some highlights include:

  • Low, fixed-interest rates for the life of the loan;
  • Purchase and refinance options for first-time and repeat homebuyers;
  • Down payment and closing cost loans up to $15,000 for qualified borrowers;
  • Exclusive 3 percent down products, including Veterans Administration, Federal Housing Authority, Conventional and Rural Development.

Requirements vary based on program, and all borrowers must meet minimum credit score requirements. Visit the Minnesota Housing website for details such as income limits, home cost limits, homebuyer education requirements and more

Use the Minnesota Housing tool to find a participating lender.

Home Buyer Assistance | Ramsey County is a program that helps first-time buyers purchase homes affordably by providing deferred loans that may be used for down payment assistance, closing costs and some health, safety or code related improvements.

  • Income and employment history qualifications
  • Buyers must complete an approved home-buyer training
  • Buyers must also qualify for VA, FHA or Fannie Mae conventional mortgages

Learn more here about Ramsey County’s home improvement, energy efficiency and suburban weatherization loan programs.

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity provides financial coaches, homeownership advisors, and mortgage financing for potential home owners. Habitat can support individuals seeking to buy a home on the open market or one of the homes Habitat builds and sells.

The program offers:

  • Access to affordable, fixed-rate mortgage with no down payment and no mortgage insurance;
  • Access to closing-cost assistance;
  • One-on-one financial coaching with a customized action plan to manage your budget, pay off debt, understand credit and save for a home purchase;
  • Homebuyer education classes, which prepare first-time purchases for the responsibilities  of home ownership; and
  • After-purchase support offering maintenance advice, resources and opportunities to connect with your community.

Property Buyers and Sellers Resources

All sellers must have a valid Truth-in-Sale of-Housing (TISH) report completed by a licensed evaluator for potential buyers to view when the property is marketed for sale. This requirement applies to single-family dwelling, duplex, condominium, townhome, and co-op properties only.

Anyone considering purchasing a home in the City of Saint Paul should hire their own home inspector to do a thorough inspection of the property. 

For information, visit DSI’s TISH web pages.

To schedule a TISH Inspection, visit this page.

Additional TISH informational documents:

Other Home Owner Resources

The Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) offers free virtual Home Energy Squad (HES) visits. The hour-long consultation with an HES energy expert could help you discover ways to reduce energy use in your home with no- and low-cost energy saving options. The virtual consultation also can help identify bigger projects so you can get started when you are able.

To learn more about what’s included in a virtual HES consultation visit  this site. Appointments may be booked online or by calling 651-328-6220.

The Lending Center may help you obtain 0% financing on a 10-year forgivable loan for up to $6,500:

To improve health and safety conditions in your home, or to upgrade your heating system and insulation; for information about these and other statewide loan programs visit the Center for Energy and Environment Lending Center website.

For window replacement due to lead paint:

Ramsey County Department of Public Health, along with its partners, is working to address lead paint hazards in Ramsey County homes occupied by young children who are most at risk for lead poisoning.

This program is available to owner-occupied and rental property owners.

A child under age six must occupy the home. The occupants much be at or below 80 percent of the median income (about $60,000 for a family of four). Window components must be deteriorated and painted with lead-based paint.

Legal Resources

Under Minnesota Human Rights Ave, housing is a “protected area” and it is illegal to treat anyone differently in housing because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, public assistance, sexual orientation, or familial status.

Learn about fair housing and how to make a complaint by contacting the Minnesota Department of Human Rights or the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s complaint process.

Last Edited: May 12, 2023