Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the unveiling of the “Salute Our Soldiers” Military Loan Program Feb. 19 that will be offered to veterans and active duty military personnel throughout the state.

“I’m excited to announce my administration’s newest veteran-focused initiative: the “Salute Our Soldiers” Military Housing Loan Program for veterans and active duty military personnel throughout the state,” DeSantis said in a press release. “To start, Florida Housing will set aside funds to assist over 1,000 veterans and active duty military members by making the homebuying process easier and more affordable. More veterans calling Florida home is a great thing for all involved and we look forward to the positive impacts this program will have on the lives of our veterans and the communities in which they live.”

Administered by Florida Housing this program is offering up to $8 million in a variety of down payment and closing cost assistance, coupled with low-interest rate first mortgages. Importantly, there will be down payment and closing cost assistance options that will be forgivable after five years. The program will be available starting March 2.

Some of the attributes of the program include a variety of down payment and closing cost assistance products with little or no interest charged; reduced costs (no documentary stamp taxes or intangible taxes on the notes and mortgages) and fees to the military homebuyer; and

veterans will be exempt from the first-time homebuyer requirement. Active duty military members cannot have owned a primary residence in the last three years.

For more information, visit Florida Housing’s Homebuyer Loan Program Wizard at www.floridahousing.org.