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Get ready for homeownership with the First Home Club

Are you a first-time homebuyer? Could you use $9,500 to buy a home of your own? Make it happen with Cooperative Federal's First Home Club!*

How it Works

1. Get Started. To see if you qualify for the First Home Club, email the Program Coordinator or call (315) 473-0244. You can also preview the income limits here (subject to change; additional eligibtility criteria apply).

2. Save. Make monthly savings deposits into your First Home Club account. Along the way, all participants can receive up to four hours of free financial advising with our certified Homeownership Counselors to help with credit building, budgeting, and homebuyer readiness.

3. Multiply Your Money. When you reach your savings goal, and have completed financial and homeowner education requirements, you will be ready to receive your match. 

4. Buy Your Home! Once you are all ready to purchase your home, the money from your First Home Club account can be used to pay for down payment and closing costs -- along with up to $9,500 in matching grants.

5. Ongoing Support. After you have purchased your home, you can continue to work with our housing & credit advisors to help you plan for home maintenance and repairs, stay on track with your budget, and more. If you have trouble keeping up with payments, let us know right away so we can help you get back on track.

Matching Grants

Our program includes two different tracks:

  • Through the First Home Club, participants receive $7,500 in grants when they save $1,875. That's $4 in grants for every $1 saved!
  • If you qualify for Assets for Independence in addition to the First Home Club, you can get a combined total of $9,500 in grants when you save $2,000.

Eligibility is based on income and other criteria. Our First Home Club Manager will determine which track fits your circumstances. 

Program Requirements

To join the program, you must be a first-time homebuyer. Generally, that means you haven’t owned a home in at least three years. Some exceptions apply.

To receive your matching grant:

  • You must be enrolled in the First Home Club for 10 (minimum) to 24 (maximum) months, and you must make monthly deposits to your First Home Club account.
  • You must finance your home through Cooperative Federal.
  • You must complete a certified Homebuyer Education Course within one year of the date you purchase your home. We offer an online course and periodic in-person classes, or our staff can refer you to other local course providers. Cooperative Federal also offers HUD-approved housing counseling. Our advisors provide individual, confidential assistance getting your finances into good shape, so you will qualify for an affordable mortgage.

Other restrictions and eligibility criteria may apply.


Q. Why does Cooperative Federal give away this money?

A. Cooperative Federal is a non-profit, community development credit union. Our mission is to rebuild the local economy in ways that foster justice and to create financial strength among households and communities with modest means. Homeownership is one of the most effective strategies for strengthening neighborhoods and creating intergenerational wealth. Various funders support our First Home Club by providing matching grants & offsetting some of our operating costs.

Q. What kind of mortgages do you offer?

A. Cooperative Federal offers a wide range of mortgage products, with flexible underwriting standards. You can read about our mortgage options here. We specialize in serving low- and moderate-income homebuyers and first-time homebuyers, including immigrants and refugees. Our staff will match you with a mortgage that suits your needs.

Q. Do I need to be ready to buy a home right now?

A. No! If you’re ready, that’s great. If you’re not, you can enroll in the program as long as you’re committed to buying a home within the next two years and meet the program guidelines. Cooperative Federal specializes in first-time homebuyers, and will help you prepare.

Q. Can I combine this with other grants?

A. Absolutely. If you qualify for down payment & closing cost assistance from organizations such as Home HeadQuarters or UNPA, those dollars can be combined with the proceeds of your Homebuyer Matched Savings Account.

Contact a First Home Club Specialist

Ready to get started? Email the Program Coordinator or call (315) 473-0244 to see if you qualify.

*Enrollment is subject to funding availability. Income limits and other eligibility criteria apply.

Funding for our First Home Club comes from Assets for Independence (US Dept. of Health & Human Services/Admin. for Children & Families), the Federal Home Loan Bank of NY, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and the NY Credit Union Foundation.