First-Time Homebuyer Classes

Joseph S. Yenni Building
1221 Elmwood Park Blvd., Suite 402
Jefferson, LA 70123
Phone:  (504) 736-6900
Fax:      (504) 736-7093


First-Time Homebuyer programs throughout the country help hopeful homeowners even if they are low-to-moderate-income individuals. Any federal government program that assists first-time buyers in a home purchase will require them to attend a HUD-approved Housing Counseling Class. JeffCAP Housing helps individuals to get their finances organized to will qualify for a mortgage. First-Time Homebuyer Classes provide one-on-one pre-purchase counseling, as well as group class sessions, to those seeking to purchase a home.

Our pre-purchase counseling includes a comprehensive financial analysis of the client's financial situation and credit to determine mortgage readiness. Review the feasibility of purchasing versus renting and an affordable price range for the client. The client will walk away learning the ins and outs of the home buying process, including real estate and mortgage terminology, financial fitness, financing alternatives, emergency readiness, energy-efficiency, and fair housing laws. Upon completion of the seminar, clients will receive an Exit Letter of Training, which is valid for two years (24 months) from the date issued. Any client with an Exit Letter of Training older than two years will be required to retake the training.



To help lenders accurately identify first-time homebuyers, we are clarifying the definition of what constitutes a first-time homebuyer. A first-time homebuyer is an individual who meets any of the following criteria:

  • Eligible "First-Time Homebuyers" must be a U.S. Citizen or Legal Alien with permanent residential status (in the U.S.) who has not owned a home during the past three year period. An individual who has had no ownership in a principal residence during the three years ending on the date of purchase of the property. This includes a spouse (if either meets the above test, they are considered first-time homebuyers).
  • A single parent who has only owned with a former spouse while married.
  • An individual who is a displaced homemaker and has only owned with a spouse.
  • An individual who has only owned a principal residence not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation under applicable regulations.
  • An individual who has only owned a property that was not in compliance with state, local or model building codes and which cannot be brought into compliance for less than the cost of constructing a permanent structure.


  • Registering clients are required to have at least 620 or higher credit scores from all three credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, & Experian)
  • Adequately established savings.
  • Meet the debt-to-income ratio lending underwriter guidelines or HUD Grant Programs. All clients will be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine reasonably mortgage readiness under a two-year class completion period.
  • The FTHB program is open to LMI individuals only. LMI is defined as having an income of less than 80% of the median income for Jefferson Parish. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates the median family income for an area each year and adjusts that amount for family size so that family incomes may be expressed as a percentage of the AMI.
    Note: Lenders are required to use the most up to date data when determining eligibility. A homeowner cannot use their child's income (i.e., social security or child support or any other income of a minor child) as a qualifying income; they must demonstrate sustainably with their independent income.

New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA MSA Median Family Income

FY 2020 Income Limits Summary
FY 2020 Income Limit Median Family FY 2020 Income Persons in Family
Area Income Limit Category 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
New Orleans-Metairie, LA HUD Metro FMR Area $70,400 Very Low (50%) 24,650 28,200 31,700 35,200 38,050 40,850 43,650 46,500
Income Limits ($)
Extremely Low 14,800 17,240 21,720 26,200 30,680 35,160 39,640 44,120
Income Limits ($)*
Low (80%) Income 39,450 45,050 50,700 56,300 60,850 65,350 69,850 74,350
Limits ($)

* The FY 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act changed the definition of extremely low-income to be the greater of 30/50ths (60 percent) of the Section 8 very low-income limit or the poverty guideline as established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), provided that this amount is not greater than the Section 8 50% very low-income limit. Consequently, the extremely low income limits may equal the very low (50%) income limits.

The monthly front-end payment required to service the anticipated primary mortgage may not exceed 31% to 33% of the gross monthly household income, after the application of all available down-payment funds and financial assistance. HOME funds will not be used to assist a purchaser when repayable mortgage obligations exceed the 33% affordability standard set by the program.

  • Example: A gross monthly household income of $2,000 per month cannot have a total monthly mortgage payment greater than $660 per month to be eligible for participation. ($2,000 X .33 = $660.00)

The monthly back-end payment for Jefferson Parish Department of Community Development by the anticipated primary mortgage payment & debt may not exceed 43% of the gross monthly household income. Debts are identified as reported monthly payments on minimum credit cards, personal & car loans, and student loans (deferment & forbearance estimated at 1% of the balance). HOME funds will not be used to assist a purchaser when repayable mortgage obligations exceed the 43% affordability standard set by their program.

  • Example: A gross monthly household income of $2,000 per month cannot have a total monthly mortgage payment greater than $660 per month to be eligible for participation. ($2,000 X .43 = $860.00)