Chair & Executive Director’s Message
The California Housing Financing Agency is gearing up today to build a better tomorrow, so more low and moderate income Californians have a place to call home.
CalHFA, much like many Californians, battled a difficult economy and a hard-hit housing market in recent years, where double-digit jobless rates and a dramatic drop in home prices dominated the headlines.
Economic conditions have greatly improved in recent months, however, and CalHFA’s latest efforts make the housing agency even better positioned for success.
CalHFA has attracted new lenders, curbed bond debt, introduced programs and maintained its credit rating. In addition, we are working more closely with our sister agencies in the state to ensure better-coordinated efforts to meet the housing needs of all Californians. Those actions will allow the Agency to help more Californians get much-needed affordable housing.
In short, CalHFA is gearing up and rolling again, and just like many forward-looking companies, new products and services are the key to success.
During the 2012-2013 fiscal year, CalHFA prepared the recently introduced CalPLUS, a fixed-rate mortgage program with special opportunities for first-time homebuyers to receive thousands of dollars in down payment assistance. We know that down payments continue to be an obstacle for low and moderate income California families to achieve homeownership.
The Agency has also restarted the Extra Credit Teacher Program (ECTP), which offers up to a $15,000 deferred payment, subordinate loan for eligible teachers, administrators, classified employees and staff members working in high-priority schools, county schools or continuation schools throughout the state.
It’s these out-of-the-box efforts that will get more families into homes, critical for the economy, the housing market and our state’s future.
The Multifamily division’s gears have been whirling also, as they introduced two new programs for preservation and conduit lending, and continued their excellent work on the Mental Health Services Act.
Of course, the Agency will also continue to help financially strapped homeowners through Keep Your Home California—a free, federally funded mortgage assistance program that has helped more than 30,000 homeowners since starting in February 2011. The $2 billion program assists homeowners who have suffered a financial hardship, such as a job loss, cut in pay, a divorce or extraordinary medical bills.
More than 150 mortgage servicers—from big banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo to smaller credit unions—are enrolled in the program. It’s a dramatic increase from the dozen servicers who were partners when the program started.
Regardless of the economy, CalHFA—from its board members to its 274-person staff—will continue to focus on helping Californians with their housing needs, whether it’s buying or keeping a home, maintaining existing housing, or serving special populations.
We’re ready to shift into high gear to accomplish our mission to create and finance progressive housing solutions so more Californians have a place to call home. This is more than our commitment or mission; it’s our promise.
Peter N. Carey
Acting Board Chair