Two local community groups are offering up to $8,000 toward buying or building a house on Jacksonville’s Northside, a program they hope will help families escape poverty.

The Local Initiatives Support Corp. — or LISC — is partnering with the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville to provide help with down payments.

Participants will take part in a six-month financial well-being program. After finishing the courses, they can receive between $5,000 and $8,000 in down payment assistance when they close on their home mortgages.

Teachers, first responders and nonprofit professionals are eligible for the higher amounts. Down payment assistance is available to participants buying existing homes or building new ones in the 32208 or 32209 ZIP codes.

The Down Payment Assistance Program is designed to disrupt poverty by providing support mechanisms and educational resources to increase homeownership in Jacksonville’s most historically under-resourced neighborhoods.

“Our collective goal is to change the trajectory and narrative of Jacksonville’s most-challenged communities and provide opportunities for those neighborhoods’ citizens to build wealth through homeownership, a historically essential component to creating generational wealth,” LISC Jacksonville Executive Director Dr. Irvin “PeDro” Cohen, said in a news release.

Ben Frazier of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville said, “Ultimately this partnership provides a pathway to homeownership, an opportunity that has been unattainable or denied to residents who for generations have lived in economically challenged neighborhoods.”

As part of its Project Boots program, LISC Jacksonville will lead the financial well-being classes, which will cover areas such as financial components of homeownership and using homeownership as a generational wealth-building mechanism.

To participate in the program, email for more information.

Article originally published by WJCT at