As far as downpayment assistance, if your credit score is 620-640 or over, you can get a gift for downpayment from a relative. Also, the seller can give you a consession of all closing costs if you put that in your contract, but rememember, it will reflect in their bottom line, so don't low ball and then ask for closing costs.
It's a great time to purchase and yes there are programs available for st time buyer's to assist with both closing costs, and down payment. Give me a call and I can share in detail with you how they work.
http://www.ihda.org/ViewPage.aspx?PageID=7 & http://www.ihda.org/admin/Upload/Files//efbe14e8-05bc-433a-b both have further details.