Down Payment Assistance

Keystone Challenge Fund administers financial assistance programs to very low, low and moderate income households purchasing homes to be occupied as their primary residence in Polk County. We administer State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP) funds for Polk County, City of Lakeland, and City of Winter Haven. SHIP funds provide down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible homebuyers who have secured first mortgage financing.

The assistance may be used in conjunction with conventional, FHA or other first mortgage financing that meets the First Mortgage Loan Requirements. The local government is the actual provider of the funds, and will be the named mortgagee or lien holder on any documents used to secure the assistance.


Registration forms must be submitted by lenders only. Applications are accepted on a first-ready, first-come basis. An eligible applicant is one who meets the income requirements (below), secured first mortgage financing and has an active sales contract on a home. Your lender can find the application materials and registration form on the Lenders Page. Please note, your lender is responsible for submitting all necessary application materials and documentation.

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.