July 2, 2018
SACRAMENTO — Home prices in many areas of California continue to increase, but the California Housing Finance Agency has been doing its part to help people own a slice of the American Dream. The close of Fiscal Year 2017-18 saw the Agency help finance over $2 billion in first mortgages, a historical high for CalHFA, which allowed more than 7,400 first-time homebuyers to purchase a home.
In addition to first mortgage loans, what really sets CalHFA apart is its down payment and closing cost assistance programs, which are not required to be paid back until the house is paid off, sold or refinanced.
Throughout the Fiscal Year, CalHFA has significantly expanded its product offerings and terms to provide more financing solutions and to reach a more inclusive homebuyer demographic. New product solutions include manufactured housing, leaseholds, land trusts, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and a Limited 203K program. Adjusted eligibility requirements provide special assistance to Veterans and disaster victims, and will soon help homebuyers on Indian land. Additionally, expansion and simplification of income and sales price limits has allowed CalHFA to meet more of the needs of low and moderate income borrowers in California, where the median home price now tops $600,000.
In celebration of National Homeownership Month in June, CalHFA further helped nearly 700 first-time homebuyers by covering their cost for homebuyer counseling and education, an integral part of the home buying process.
"It is incredibly important for homebuyers to be educated about the full financial implications of taking on a mortgage," said CalHFA Executive Director Tia Boatman Patterson. "When you add one-on-one counseling to the comprehensive homebuyer education, it results in sustainable homeownership."
All first-time homebuyers who receive financing from CalHFA’s first mortgage programs must complete homebuyer education and one-on-one counseling. Anyone who has not owned or occupied their own home in the last three years meets the definition of first-time homebuyer.
Last year’s historic housing package, passed by the California Legislature and signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., opened the door to the production and rehabilitation of ADUs through laws that streamline construction and permitting. CalHFA is jumping through that door to provide the necessary financing for ADUs through a collaboration with Self-Help Enterprises (SHE), a community development organization whose mission is to work together with families to build and sustain healthy homes and communities. This public-private partnership is developing an innovative ADU Pilot program that will not only provide financing for much-needed affordable housing in the Central Valley, but also serve as a model that could eventually be replicated across the state.
"We are educating homebuyers who can begin to build wealth, providing enhanced and innovative program solutions to fit the needs of this housing crisis and expanding our assistance to be more inclusive so more Californians have a place to call home," said Boatman Patterson. "We’ve helped more than 14,000 California families buy their first home in the past two years, and I’m thrilled with the additional program options we now have available to help even more families in the coming months and years.
Visit CalHFA's website for links to register or learn more about homebuyer education options.
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The California Housing Finance Agency was created in 1975 with the goal of helping more Californians find a place to call home. CalHFA's Single Family Lending Division has invested more than $25 billion to help more than 175,000 families buy their first home with a mortgage they can afford. CalHFA is a self-supporting state agency that doesn't rely on taxpayer dollars. For more information on CalHFA programs, and how we are creating progressive financing solutions for affordable housing in California, visit www.calhfa.ca.gov or call toll free at 877.9.CalHFA (877.922.5432).
Contact: Eric Johnson
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