Keystone Challenge Fund provides financial assistance to very low, low or moderate income households purchasing homes to be occupied as their primary residence. We administer State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program funds for Polk County, the City of Lakeland, and the City of Winter Haven. SHIP funds provide down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible homebuyers who have secured first mortgage financing. Keystone’s programs are HUD acceptable to provide secondary financing for FHA insured and Conventional mortgage loans. GAP program down payment assistance varies depending on the income level of the buyer and the local government assistance program guidelines. Down payment and closing cost assistance is secured by a soft second mortgage.


We are pleased to announce that Keystone now has City of Winter Haven funds available for down payment and closing cost assistance, as follows:

  • Low and Very Low – funding is limited

1 Excludes properties within the city limits of Lakeland and Polk County


Please review the GAP MANUAL 2018 for complete program details. Registration form can be found below (Downloads). 


Current Income Limits

2017 Income Limits

 * Income limits may vary slightly depending on program.
** An additional $2,000 is usually available for closing costs assistance.




If you are a lender and require additional information, please contact:

Beth Niemeyer
[email protected]

863-682-1025 ext 3



For any questions about Keystone, please contact us: