Housing Loans Overview

The Mitchell-Lama Housing Loan Program provides interest-free loans of up to $30,000 to lower-income residents of New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester, or Long Island to help purchase a Mitchell-Lama apartment.

Loan applicants must have annual pre-tax household income at or below the income limits for their household size. If your annual pre-tax household income is slightly above the limit in the chart below, please contact Loan@HFLS.org to speak with a Loan Officer about your specific situation; you may still qualify for an HFLS loan.

Applicants must have received an official Mitchell-Lama closing letter listing the apartment’s purchase price and monthly maintenance and must submit this document to HFLS with their application. Loan amounts are up to $30,000 or the apartment’s purchase price, whichever is lower, and are repaid in installments of $500 per month (60 months) or $400 per month (75 months) depending on the applicant’s annual household income.

All loans have a one-month grace period before repayments begin. Repayments are made on either the 5th or the 20th of each month; borrowers select their preference before HFLS disburses the loan. All loan repayments are made by electronic debit of a checking account.

Since HFLS lends to households, a married couple is considered one borrower. If an applicant is married or partnered, he or she must include their spouse’s/partner’s information in the application.

Guarantor Information

Two guarantors are required for all loans, and both guarantors must complete and sign Guarantor Forms. A married couple is considered one guarantor. If a guarantor is married or partnered, his or her spouse/partner must also complete and sign the Guarantor Form.  

Each guarantor is “jointly” and “severally” liable for the loan in the event a borrower is unable to pay for any reason. This means that, while HFLS would expect each guarantor to share equally in the responsibility of repaying the loan, each is liable legally for the full amount, and any one guarantor could be called upon to repay the balance due.

Guarantors must meet the following criteria:

  • US citizens or permanent residents currently living in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut
  • Have a checking account, good credit, and pre-tax household income of at least $50,000 a year
  • Currently employed (HFLS prefers persons who have worked at least one year in their present position), or if retired, can demonstrate their ability to repay through pension/retirement income or assets.

Even if they meet the requirements above, the following people may not guarantee a loan:

  • You, your spouse/partner, or your dependents
  • Persons who currently have an HFLS loan or are a guarantor on an HFLS loan
  • Persons who are financially unable to repay the loan

Housing Loan Documents & Interview

The information and documents below are required for a Mitchell-Lama Housing Loan.

From the borrower:

  • Housing Loan Application completed by the applicant and including information for their spouse or partner, if relevant. A link to the Mitchell-Lama Housing Loan online application appears at the bottom of this page.
  • Official Mitchell-Lama closing letter, listing the apartment’s purchase price and monthly maintenance, and your original Mitchell-Lama lottery selection letter.
  • Most recent income tax return.
  • The applicant’s two most recent checking account statements (all pages), which must include the applicant’s name, bank name, checking account number, and routing number. If the routing number does not appear on the statement, the applicant may submit it separately.
  • Copies of government-issued photo IDs that include signatures and serve as proof of address for the applicant and their spouse or partner, if relevant (e.g. a driver’s license). If the driver’s license does not include the applicant’s current address, HFLS may require other documentation as proof of residency.

From the guarantors:

  • Online Guarantor Form submitted by the guarantor and including information for their spouse or partner, if relevant. The guarantor will receive an email including a unique link to an online Guarantor Form after the applicant submits their application.
  • Copies of government-issued photo IDs for the guarantors (and their spouses or partners, if relevant), e.g. a driver’s license or U.S. passport. HFLS may ask for proof of address if the ID does not provide it.

Failure to submit these documents will delay the processing of your application.

After receiving your online loan application and guarantor forms, an HFLS Loan Officer will contact you to schedule a 15-minute loan interview (by phone).

During the loan interview, an HFLS Loan Officer will review your application and other required documents with you, determine whether any additional information is needed, explain the loan closing process, and answer any questions you have.

Due to the high volume of loan applications received by HFLS, we ask that you please do not contact HFLS regarding the status of your loan application. A Loan Officer will reach out to you directly as soon as possible.

Loan Decisions & Closing

HFLS reviews and decides on loan applications daily. If we have questions about your application or guarantor, you may receive a call or email from a Loan Officer asking for further information before HFLS will make its decision.

HFLS, in its discretion, may decline to make a loan, make a loan in an amount less than that requested, or require different or additional guarantors.

If your loan is approved, you will receive an email with loan closing documents for you to complete and sign electronically via DocuSign. The loan closing paperwork includes:

  • A Promissory Note, to be signed by the borrower, guarantor, and all spouses/partners
  • An Authorization of Automatic Payments (ACH) form, so the loan funds can be transferred directly into your checking account and so HFLS can withdraw monthly loan repayments directly from your checking account.

Once HFLS receives the electronically signed documents above, we will disburse your loan funds directly into your checking account within three business days. (Please note that it may take a few extra days after the disbursement for the loan funds to appear in your checking account.)