REALTORS® eager to help home buyers should mark their calendars for 9:30 a.m. March 24 to learn more about two new affordable housing financing programs from the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA).

IHDA representatives will give an overview of the SmartBuy and the Opening Doors programs and answer questions during the hour-long session. Through IHDA, consumers can buy their first homes, refinance or buy again.

SmartBuy offers up to $5,000 in down payment/closing cost assistance and up to $40,000 in student loan debt relief to qualifying home buyers. To be eligible, consumers must have at least $1,000 in student loans, have a FICO mid-score of 640 or higher, and the income and purchase price of desired properties must fall within the county income and price limits. Find out how the program enables one of the borrowers to pay off his or her student loans. You can access regional lists of approved lenders online and access a fact sheet that can help consumers understand the nuances of the program.

The Opening Doors program provides $6,000 in down payment/closing cost assistance, requires either a 1 percent or $1,000 minimum contribution from borrowers and the loans do not have to be repaid unless the properties are sold or refinanced before the five-year forgiveness period expires. Get the fact sheet from IDHA.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients are eligible for both programs.