A brief note, if you want to use some of the $8000 towards closing costs, the loan must be a HUD or FHA loan. Conventional loans will still qualify the buyer to the $8000 on the next tax return.
Many counties also have offered down-payment assistance programs, and should always check with your county or better yet, a mortgage person to see if there are any programs currently going on in the county you might want to purchase in (for 1st time buyers). They will usually require the first time buyer to attend a couple counseling classes, which is terrific for young homebuyers.
In summary, YES, I think downpayment assistance programs are terrific. Very few have access to parents with deep pockets and cash to gift their children.