Program Helps DC Public School Teachers Finance New Home

Qualifying D.C. teachers can get up to $120,000 for a down payment on a home

Marquita Johnson has been a teacher for 15 years, but — despite having a good job and good credit — the single mother of two can't afford to buy a home.

"It is difficult paying rent, taking care of everything else that you have to do, extra circular activities, just the basic necessities as well as saving for a down payment," Johnson said.

But a new program in the District could make it possible for teachers like Johnson to finally afford a home.

Alex Lofton is the co-founder of Landed, a financial company that has helped hundreds of teachers in California and Colorado buy homes.

Now, Lofton is bringing that same program to D.C.'s public and charter school teachers.

Landed offers free counseling on home buying and will provide qualified teachers up to $120,000 for a down payment on a home.

Lofton said teachers don't have to pay back the money unless they sell the home.

"Landed is not a loan, it’s a shared investment. So what that means is you get money up front in sharing some of the appreciation or depreciation in the future, you're not paying a fixed interest rate," Lofton said.

That shared investment means if a teacher makes money when they sell a house, Landed gets its down payment back in additions to 25 percent of the profit of the sale.

However, if a teacher loses money on the sale they do not have to pay it all back, according to Lofton.

For Johnson, Landed could be the key to owning her own home.

"It's been a dream of mine. I want my children to have space," she said.

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