Community Keys Down Payment Assistance

Up to $20,000 to buy a home in Saint Paul

If you are buying a home in selected neighborhoods of Saint Paul, you may qualify for up to $20,000 in down payment assistance! The Community Keys program is specifically for homes purchased in Frogtown (District 7), Rondo (a portion of District 8), and North End (District 6). Community Keys provides up to $9,500 that must be paired with $10,500 in NeighborWorks Home Partners loan funds. There are no payments and no interest charged – the principal is paid back when the home transfers ownership or is no longer owner-occupied.

Who qualifies?

  • Buyers must have an annual income at or below 100% of Area Median Income(see below).
  • Amount of loan is based on need, determined by income and projected house payment.
  • Home must be owner-occupied, 1-4 units, and in the program service area(see below).


Program Guidelines

Program Overview: This program is designed to provide a KEY to help more people afford to buy their own home in the Frogtown-Rondo Home Fund neighborhoods, and District 6, North End, service areas (see map below) in St. Paul.

Loan Amount:  Up to $9,500 in Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance. This program must be paired with NeighborWorks Home Partners loan funds.

Eligible Use of Funds: Funds will be used for down payment and closing costs.  The buyer can not receive any portion of these funds as cash. Community Keys funds can be layered with other Down Payment Assistance Programs; however, buyers are also required to use the NeighborWorks Home Partners down payment funds. Funds are available on a first come/first served basis.

Interest Rate & Deferred Loan Term:  The loan does not have any monthly payments and does not accrue interest, and is paid back when you sell the home.

Loan Security: This loan will be secured by a mortgage in favor of Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.

Applicant Eligibility:

  • Qualified buyers must have an annual income that is at or below 100% of the area median income. (AMI.) For a family of two, the limit is $75,500. View the full chart below.
  • Buyers must have a need for the funds based on a house payment to income ratio at or above 25% or a shortage of funds to purchase.
  • Homebuyer Education: Buyers are also required to take 8 hours of homebuyer education from an approved provider or Framework (online) + 1 hour in-person pre-purchase appointment from an approved provider.
  • If you are buying a duplex, triplex, or four-plex, you must also take Landlord Education.
  • Buyers must homestead and occupy the property as their primary residence for the life of the loan.

Property Eligibility: Property must be within the Frogtown Rondo Home Fund neighborhoods and District 6, North End, service areas (see maps attached) in St. Paul.

Loan Costs: Recording fees of $92

Application Process:  Your loan officer will submit your application for you.  Please allow 30 days to close from the time theapplication is submitted.

Disbursement Process: If the application meets the program guidelines, the loan funds will be wired to the Title Company from NeighborWorks Home Partners. The buyer will sign the deferred loan note and mortgage at the loan closing.

2018 Area Median Income chart

Many of our loans and down payment programs have income limits for customers that are based on a percentage of the Area Median Income (AMI) for our region, Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington.  These are calculated yearly by HUD. The method used to determine your household’s income may vary depending on the program you are looking at, so it’s best to talk to one of our staff members if you are thinking about using a program and aren’t sure if you qualify.



Search Down Payments and Grant Locator
Search for down payment assistance and home buying grants
  • Use a comma in between multiple counties i.e. Anoka,Hennepin,Orange
  • Use a comma in between multiple cities i.e. New York,Minneapolis,Dallas,Portland
  • Check any that apply.
  • Where would you like your reports sent?