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Free mortgage credit certificates now available with DC Opens Doors free through June 30

On June 21, 2016

Washington, D.C. – DC Open Doors, a single family mortgage program of the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency, introduces Mortgage Credit Certificates in Washington, D.C. A certificate provides qualified borrowers the ability to claim a federal tax credit of 20 percent of the mortgage interest paid during a calendar year.  The remaining 80 percent of mortgage interest paid for that year may still be claimed as a tax deduction. 

A tax credit has the potential to put more money in the purchaser’s pocket than a tax deduction alone.  

“DCHFA’s Mortgage Credit Certificate provides an additional financial benefit and incentive to owning a home in the District of Columbia,” said Todd A. Lee, acting executive director of the housing finance agency. The homeowner receives the tax benefit of purchasing the certificate by completing the IRS Form 8396 when filing their federal income tax return. 

During the month of June, which is Homeownership Month, DCHFA will waive the certificate purchasing fee on all reservations made in conjunction with DC Open Doors Loan products.  The agency will charge $800 as an issuance fee on certificated issued in conjunction with a DC Open Doors Loan Program product after June 30, 2016, and $2,000 a certificate issued in conjunction with other loan program products not offered through the DC Open Doors Loan Program. The lender is permitted to charge up to an additional $700 processing fee.   

Borrowers may obtain a Conventional, VA or FHA 30-Year Fixed Rate First Trust Mortgage or an FHA Adjustable Rate First Trust Mortgage through a lender of their choice or apply for a DC Open Doors First Trust loan program through one of DCHFA’s Participating Lenders.  

DC’s MCCs Guidelines:

  • Borrowers must be first time homebuyers
    • Must not have had an ownership interest in a principle residence within the most recent three-year period
    • Exception for residences purchased in a Targeted Area or Veteran’s utilizing a one-time exception
  • Maximum borrower income is based upon household income, currently $131,040 (family of two or less) and $152,880 (family of three or more)  
  • Acquisition costs (sales price) may not exceed program limits, currently $589,784 (non-targeted area) and $720,847 (targeted area)
  • Single family residences, only (no 2-4 unit properties or co-ops)
  • DC’s MCCs can be provided in conjunction with a DC Open Doors loan program product or other loan program products not offered through the DC Open Doors loan program

DC Open Doors was launched in May 2013 by the DC Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) to create more affordable financing options for prospective homebuyers in the District of Columbia. The program offers fully forgivable second trust loans to fulfill a buyer’s minimum down payment requirement, in addition to below market interest rates for first trust mortgages on the purchase of homes in Washington, D.C.

For more information, visit

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