First Home Club Program aims to make home ownership a reality for millennials

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After signing up for the First Home Club program through First Niagara Bank nearly a year ago, 29-year-old Lindsay Rodgers is now a proud first time homeowner.

” I literally just closed on Thursday in my new home it’s really exciting,” said Rodgers.

Through the program, Lindsay earned a $7,500 grant that she used towards the down payment on her first home. Without it, home ownership would’ve taken her much longer.

“I rented two apartments that were almost a thousand dollars a month not including anything so now, to be able to I had to move back home to save money to be able to buy a house that’s affordable,” said Rodgers.

According to a survey conducted by apartment list, 82% of millennial renters in buffalo want to purchase a home, but can’t afford it.
Lindsay says money she received through the first home club program made her monthly mortgage payments more affordable.

“I had some money saved for it but this is what really brought it home for me to cut down the payments to cut down what I needed to put down up front,” said Rodgers.

To be in the program participants need a qualifying credit score and income, two years of work history, and they also need to begin a savings program that runs anywhere between 10 to 18 months before they buy the house.

“Over that 10 to 18 month period they will have saved $1,880 then they earn a grant equal to 4 times that amount,” said Jerry Szymanski, First Niagara Assistant Vice President and Senior Mortgage Consultant

Lindsay says the program was an easy process that pushed her to stay focused and save, which ultimate;y helped her purchase her first home.

First Niagara bank has an enrollment period every month for the first home club program and they usually max out-  with over 50 people enrolling in the program each month.

For information on how to enroll, contact Jerry Szymanski at provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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