Special Home Buying Advantage Reaches Nearly 1,800 Teachers

December 13, 2007

SACRAMENTO, CA – In California, our dedicated teachers face a double dilemma: buying a home on a teacher's salary, in one of the world's most expensive housing markets.

The Extra Credit Teacher Program (ECTP) has come to the rescue for educators in today's tough housing market. Nearly 1,800 teachers, administrators, classified employees, and other staff members who serve in California's high priority schools (API Ranks 1-5) have taken advantage of this special first-time home buying program, administered by the California Housing Finance Agency.

The program was designed to bring quality teachers to the students who need them the most, and at the end of the day, enables them to go to the place they need the most – their own home.

Since the Extra Credit Teacher Program was launched in July 2001, the California Housing Finance Agency has financed more than $461 million in first mortgage loans and provided more than $19 million in down payment assistance through the program. These dollars add up to 1,790 educators who are now first-time homeowners, thanks to CalHFA and the ECTP.

Minh-Tram Nguyen, Principal at EnCompass Academy in Oakland, used the program to purchase her first home with the help of Robert Stewart at Countrywide Financial.

"Even though I had known about this program, I didn't know that principals would qualify for this program as well," Nguyen said. "While very fulfilling, the stress, intensity, and personal and financial sacrifice required for educators who work in high-needs communities is great. Therefore, I was really heartened to see how there is some acknowledgement of this through public policy programs such as ECTP. As a result, I now have a beautiful home that I can return to for respite and renewal."

"The Extra Credit Teacher Program helps draw a scarce public resource – experienced teachers and administrators – to the schools that struggle the most, attracting the sort of educators who are most qualified and willing to help these schools achieve success," says Theresa A. Parker, Executive Director of the California Housing Finance Agency. "Teachers benefit, of course, but the real winners are the students."

This statewide financial program combines deferred down payment assistance, up to $15,000, with a 30, 35 or 40 year first mortgage loan at a low interest rate. Interest on the down payment assistance loan is forgiven if the borrower remains employed at a high priority school for three years, and no payments are required on the second loan until the home is either sold, refinanced or paid in full. Funding for the ECTP comes from a combination of tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds and from Proposition 46, passed by California voters in 2002.

Created in 1975 as the state's affordable housing bank, the California Housing Finance Agency has invested over $14 billion in non-taxpayer funds to help more than 146,000 California families live in a home of their own with a mortgage they can afford. For more information and a complete description of CalHFA's Homeownership, Multifamily, and Mortgage Insurance programs, visit www.calhfa.ca.gov or call toll free 877.9.CalHFA (877.922.5432).

Contact: Evan Gerberding
Phone: 916.322.0249
Fax: 916.322.2345

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