State announces funding programs for current, future homeowners

News Release

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A state agency on Thursday announced two programs to help Californians become homeowners, or to remain homeowners, through a program that forgives loans to homebuyers for up to 10% of the purchase price, and the approval of $67 million to fund projects that will support low- and very low-income households.

“We have to use every tool in our toolbox to tackle the housing affordability crisis head-on,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom in a news release. “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.”

Forgivable Equity Builder Loan – California Housing Finance Agency

The California Housing Finance Agency is introducing the Forgivable Equity Builder Loan, which helps homebuyers with a loan of up to 10% 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 on Thursday 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.

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.”

For more information about the CalHome program administered by HCD, visit –

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.

Source: California Department of Housing and Community Development

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