California agency helps record 11,000 low-income buyers enter market


The California Housing Finance Agency helped a record number of low- and moderate-income residents purchase their first homes with help from its down payment assistance program.

Over 11,000 Californians achieved homeownership through CalHFA in fiscal year 2018-2019, the most in the 44-year history of the agency.

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The move is significant as down payments remain a top hurdle in homeownership, and California in particular is the nation’s largest, and one of the most costly, housing markets. Though the Golden State’s affordable housing crisis still faces its fair share of challenges, this is a step toward helping more residents enter the market.

“With the governor’s current focus on housing, I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to help so many people find a home they can afford,” said CalHFA Executive Director Tia Boatman Patterson in a press release. “Providing sustainable and affordable homeownership opportunities is a significant piece of our continuing mission.”

CalHFA expanded its product offerings this year to add manufactured housing to its portfolio of eligible construction types, in addition to the simplification of income calculation, which streamlined paperwork and hastened turn times for lender partners, the agency said.

It is also setting aim at other initiatives to help potential buyers purchase homes in the coming year.

CalHFA plans to launch a program to be utilized alongside the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program, offering support to those buying houses on Native American tribal lands. The U.S. Department of Agriculture loan program will also make its return in September to help shoppers in rural areas buy a property with up to 100% financing.

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