Special to 1831Galion

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Treasurer Robert Sprague have announced details of the Ohio Homebuyer Plus program, a new savings account plan designed to encourage homeownership in Ohio. 

The program, which was first proposed by Governor DeWine in his 2023 State of the State address, will make specialized, tax-advantaged savings accounts available to Ohioans to assist them on their homebuying journey. Prospective homebuyers can open Ohio Homebuyer Plus accounts through participating financial institutions beginning in January.

“This savings account program is part of our work to holistically improve access to adequate, affordable housing in Ohio,” said Governor DeWine. “By making it easier for residents to save, we can help more Ohioans achieve their dreams of homeownership.”  

The program is being created with support from the Ohio General Assembly as part of the state operating budget that Governor DeWine signed in July. The program will be administered by the Ohio Treasurer’s Office.

“Ohio is the best place to live, work, and raise a family, and we want to continue to create new opportunities to build a life in our state,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “With the challenges in today’s market, we are encouraging Ohioans through this program to think about their future here and to take the steps necessary to enhance their quality of life.”

Following the same “linked deposit” model used for existing programs like Ag-LINK and Family Forward, Ohio Homebuyer Plus will offer above-market interest rates to accountholders who deposit money at participating banks or credit unions. Additionally, individuals who open an account may also qualify for certain Ohio state income tax deductions.

“To own a home in Ohio is to invest in Ohio,” said Treasurer Sprague. “However, prospective homebuyers face no shortage of challenges in today’s market, including the increasing amounts needed for their down payments and closing costs. Through Ohio Homebuyer Plus, we’re putting the strength of the state’s balance sheet to work for Ohioans as they build their nest egg and the savings needed to make one of life’s most important purchases.”

To qualify for enhanced interest savings through an Ohio Homebuyer Plus account, an eligible accountholder must:

  • Be an Ohio resident at least 18 years of age;
  • Have a primary residence in the State of Ohio; and
  • Only use the account proceeds toward the down payment or closing costs of a primary residence purchased in Ohio.

Accounts connected with Ohio Homebuyer Plus must be used within five years, maintain a minimum balance of at least $100, and cannot exceed a maximum balance of $100,000.

Ohio Homebuyer Plus will launch in January 2024, with a specific launch date to be announced in the coming weeks. 

Prospective homebuyers will work with a participating bank or credit union to apply for a savings account through Ohio Homebuyer Plus.

More information, including a list of participating financial institutions, will be shared upon the program’s launch in January at www.ohiotreasurer.gov.

Source: Office of Governor DeWine