State Announces Two Programs for Current or Future California Homeowners

California Housing Finance Agency Introduces Forgivable Equity Builder Loan to Help First-Time Homebuyers
Loan is forgiven if the buyer stays in the home for five years.

California Department of Housing and Community Development Announces $67 million for 33 CalHome Program Projects
Funding will help Californians become homeowners, stay housed.

April 7, 2022

SACRAMENTO — The state of California today announced two programs to help Californians become homeowners or to remain homeowners - a program to provide forgivable loans to homebuyers for up to ten percent of the purchase price, and the approval of $67 million to fund projects that will support low- and very low-income households so that they can become or remain homeowners.

"We have to use every tool in our toolbox to tackle the housing affordability crisis head-on," said Governor Gavin Newsom. "We're helping new homebuyers and ensuring that current homeowners can keep their homes in good repair, while also building the affordable housing our state needs."

"Owning a home represents belonging, stability and has long been recognized as one of the best ways to build wealth, but for far too many Californians the dream of home ownership remains just out of reach," said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. "That is why we are pleased to announce these programs and awards. As the state continues expanding housing opportunity, we are deploying resources and strategies across the housing continuum, including homeownership programs that promote stability, build assets and strengthen local economies."

Forgivable Equity Builder Loan - California Housing Finance Agency
The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) is introducing the Forgivable Equity Builder Loan, which helps homebuyers with a loan of up to 10 percent of the purchase price. If the homebuyer stays in the home for five years, they do not have to repay the junior loan, making homeownership more attainable for Californians.

The loan is available to Californians whose income is less than 80% of the Area Median Income in the county where the property is located. For instance, in Sacramento a family can make up to $72,700 and qualify for the loan.  In San Diego County, the limit is $76,080, while in Santa Clara County the limit is $118,960. The loan can be used for down payment or closing costs, including rate buydowns.

"Home equity has proven to be one of the strongest ways for families to build and pass on intergenerational wealth and CalHFA is committed to improving equitable access to homeownership for all Californians," said Tiena Johnson Hall, CalHFA's Executive Director. "The Forgivable Equity Builder Loan, which gives first-time homebuyers a head start with immediate equity in their homes, will help California families build and pass on that wealth with a secure, stable home loan."

The Forgivable Equity Builder Loan is available through CalHFA's network of approved lenders, which operates in every California county. Families who think they may qualify are encouraged to contact a Preferred Loan Officer to take the first steps towards homeownership.

CalHome Awards - Department of Housing and Community Development
The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) today announced more than $67 million in grant funding for 33 CalHome Program projects located across California - projects that will ultimately support low- and very low-income households so they can become or remain homeowners.

In September 2021, HCD announced the availability of state CalHome Program funds from the Affordable Housing Bond Act Trust Fund of 2018 to fund Local Public Agencies or Nonprofit Corporations for eligible activities within the CalHome Program. Funds assist individual first-time homebuyers through deferred-payment loans for down payment assistance, home rehabilitation, including manufactured homes not on permanent foundations, acquisition and rehabilitation, homebuyer counseling, self-help mortgage assistance, or technical assistance for self-help homeownership.

"With the recent announcement of our new Statewide Housing Plan, programs like CalHome are more important than ever in helping us toward our ultimate goal of 2.5 million homes in California over the next eight years," said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez. "Much like our Statewide Housing Plan, the focus of CalHome is not just about creating new housing, but also preserving the existing affordable housing we currently have so that Californians at all income levels can maintain a roof over their heads."

A full list of local public agencies and nonprofit corporations receiving CalHome Program grant funding is available upon request.

For more information about the CalHome program administered by HCD, click here.

Other Resources for Homeowners
Keeping homeowners in their homes is a top priority for the state. Homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments have additional resources from CalHFA.

CalHFA offers the National Mortgage Settlement Housing Counseling program, which provides counseling services to California families who are in danger of eviction or foreclosure, through housing counselors certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For Californians who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, CalHFA has established the California Mortgage Relief Program to help homeowners get caught up on their housing payments. The program is free, and the relief funds do not need to be repaid.

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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 has helped more than 207,000 low- and moderate-income homebuyers with $32.6 billion in first mortgages and used $6.1 billion in financing for the construction and preservation of more than 70,000 affordable rental housing units throughout the state. CalHFA is a self-supported state agency that doesn't rely on taxpayer dollars for its operational costs. 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).

The California Department of Housing and Community Development is dedicated to the preservation and expansion of safe and affordable housing, so more Californians have a place to call home. Our team works to ensure an adequate supply of housing for Californians and promotes the growth of strong communities through its leadership, policy and program development. For more information, please visit www.hcd.ca.gov and follow us on Twitter, @California_HCD; Facebook, @CaliforniaHCD; and LinkedIn.