DENVER (KDVR) — Denver’s Department of Housing Stability is offering a new program to help people in historically discriminated communities have a better shot at landing a home. Monday, the city announced the first applicants have been approved for the new metroDPA Social Equity program.

The program gives qualified applicants either $15,000 or $25,000 in downpayment assistance, significantly increasing applicants’ buying power in one of the hottest housing markets in the country.

It’s offered to people who are residents or direct descendants of individuals who lived in Denver neighborhoods that were redlined between 1938 and 2000. Applicants have to have a credit score above 640, earn less than $150,000 per year and be able to qualify for a 30-year fixed-rate home loan.

“For far too long, communities of color have been excluded from the American Dream – cut off from the opportunity to invest in a home of their own, to grow wealth through equity, and to hand that wealth down to the next generation,” said Mayor Hancock in a statement. “Through the metroDPA Social Equity program, we are taking steps to correct this racial disparity and helping level the playing field for homeownership in neighborhoods throughout Denver.”

Dontrael Starks is among one of the first applicants to be approved. He wants to move into a larger space, where he’ll have more room to raise his five children.

Watch the full announcement on FOX31 NOW.