A down payment assistance program that’s new to the Sacramento area is helping many folks access home ownership without a down payment.

The Mill at Broadway is one of the residential communities working with a direct lender that offers the Chenoa Fund program.

"We will do a second mortgage that covers their down payment. So many folks will get that down payment forgiven once they've stayed in the property for three years," explains Nick Peters, a loan officer with Finance of America.

Those interested in the Chenoa program may qualify if they make 115 percent or below the county’s average median income level.

According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the median income in Sacramento County is $75,200. A buyer is eligible if they make less than $86,480.

"Some other folks who are above the income limit will just have to pay interest on that loan and repay it when they can," adds Peters. The program also requires buyers to have a credit score of at least 620.

Peters tells ABC10 that the program is gaining popularity among millennials and previous homeowners looking to downsize.

"We noticed with a lot of those folks is that they have trouble saving because their budget's tight, they're making ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck. There's no feasible way to save,” he explained.

“So, those are the folks we highly recommend get pre-approved, look at this program as a good option to get into the market and avoid paying rent for the next few years,” Peters said.

The program, however, isn’t the best option for everyone.

“I usually steer people away from the program if they have the money for the down. If you can come up with 3 to 3.5 percent of your purchase price, you're going to be best off putting that money into the home — that way you're optimizing that monthly payment."