• Down payment assistance in California

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Down payment assistance

How much of a down payment do you need to buy a house? The general rule of thumb is to put a minimum of 20% of the purchase price. But really you may get a home with as little as 3.5 percent or 5 percent, or even nothing down at all if you qualify to get help through a down payment assistance program.

More than 2,000 down payment assistance programs are available across the country administered by a local or state housing authority, a nonprofit organization or directly through a lender. The common types of closing cost and down payment assistance include grants, zero-interest, forgivable loans, zero-interest, deferred-payment loans, or low-interest loans.


There are more than 260 fully funded homebuyer assistance programs in California, and almost half of these programs don’t require you to be a first time home buyer (please note that you can be considered as a first-time buyer in California if you haven’t owned a home for the past three years).

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If you’re a first-time home buyer and meet certain other requirements, the State of California and the federal government offer a variety of ways to help you with the down payment and secure an affordable mortgage. Learn more.

 

Down Payment Assistance Programs

How much of a down payment do you need to buy a house? The general rule of thumb is to put a minimum of 20% of the purchase price. But really you may get a home with as little as 3.5 percent or 5 percent, or even nothing down at all if you qualify to get help through a down payment assistance program. 


More than 2,000 down payment assistance programs are available across the country administered by a local or state housing authority, a nonprofit organization or directly through a lender. The common types of closing cost and down payment assistance include grants, zero-interest, forgivable loans, zero-interest, deferred-payment loans, or low-interest loans.


There are more than 260 fully funded homebuyer assistance programs in California, and almost half of these programs don’t require you to be a first time home buyer (please note that you can be considered as a first-time buyer in California if you haven’t owned a home for the past three years).


Down Payment Assistance


The CalHFA (California Housing Finance Agency) programs


CalHFA offers several options for down payment and closing cost assistance (often called a second or subordinate loan). CalHFA's subordinate loans are "silent seconds", which means payments on these loans are deferred until your home is sold, refinanced or paid in full. 


CalHFA MyHome Assistance  Program



MyHome Assistance program provides a deferred-payment junior loan - up to 3.5% of the purchase price, or appraised value, whichever is less, to be used for their down payment and/or closing costs. This program must be combined with a CalHFA first mortgage loan. Eligible applicants must meet qualifying requirements, including:


  • Be a first-time homebuyer. 

  • Occupy the property as a primary residence; non-occupant co-borrowers are not allowed.

  • CalHFA borrowers must complete homebuyer education counseling and obtain a certificate of completion through an eligible homebuyer counseling organization.

  • Meet CalHFA income limits for this program.


There are also property requirements, like sales price of the home cannot exceed CalHFA's sales price limits established for the county in which the property is located; be a single-family, one-unit residence, including approved condominium/PUDs (condominiums must meet the guidelines of the first mortgage); a five acre maximum on the size of the property, etc.



CalHFA School Teacher & Employee Assistance Program


This program offers junior loans with up to 4% of the purchase price to teachers, administrators, school district employees and staff members working for any California K-12 public school, including Charter schools and county/continuation schools. School Program can only be combined with an eligible CalHFA first mortgage loan (CalHFA Conventional, CalHFA FHA, or CalHFA VA first loan), and its subordinate loans can only be used for down payment assistance and/or closing costs. Borrower requirements include:


  • Be a first-time homebuyer. 

  • Occupy the property as a primary residence; non-occupant co-borrowers are not allowed.

  • CalHFA borrowers must complete homebuyer education counseling and obtain a certificate of completion through an eligible homebuyer counseling organization.

  • Meet CalHFA income limits for this program.

  • Be currently employed in a California K-12 public school, Charter school, county/continuation school or its school district.


Property requirements are similar to those of the MyHome Assistance Program.


CalPLUS FHA w/CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP)  



CalHFA ZIP is a deferred  payment, zero interest second mortgage that is only available when used with the CalPLUS first mortgage program (the CalPLUS FHA program is an FHA-insured first mortgage with a 30 year fixed interest rate.)


Offered by the California Housing Finance Agency, this new CalHFA loan program is designed to help well-prepared low to moderate income families become homeowners in California.


ZIP Assistance is 3% or 4% of the total first mortgage loan.


Down Payment Programs Not Restricted by County


Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Loans


The Chenoa Fund is administered by CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA), a federally chartered governmental entity that specializes in providing down payment assistance financing in the form of second mortgages on conventional loans and FHA insured loans. 


CBCMA offers down payment assistance to those who qualify for a 97% LTV conventional first mortgage under Fannie Mae®’s HomeReady® program for low to moderate income borrowers, with expanded eligibility for homes in low-income communities. The borrowers should meet minimum credit score of 640 and all other guidelines for the conventional standard 97% LTV or HomeReady® programs. 


Chenoa Fund DPA Edge is a program that provides 30-year term, 0% interest rate, no monthly payment, second mortgage. Borrowers will need to meet the minimum credit score of 620 and have a qualifying income equal or less than 115% of the median income for the county in which they will live. The loan is forgiven when 36 consecutive on-time payments on the first mortgage are made. 


Dream Makers Home Buying Assistance 



PenFed Foundation Dream Makers program provides matching grants for down payment and closing cost assistance for qualified Veterans and military service members with low to moderate income. 


The amount of the grant is up to $5,000, and it is determined by a 2-to-1 match of what the homebuyer contributes towards the home purchase from their own funds (the minimum contribution must be $500). You don’t have to be a Pentagon Federal Credit Union member to benefit from Dream Makers, and you can apply the grant to a mortgage from any financial institution (VA, FHA, Conventional or USDA home loans). 


To qualify for Dream Makers Grants applicants must be first time homebuyers; Veteran, Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, Department of Defense employees or Homeland security personnel; income cannot exceed 80% of the AMI; first time homebuyer education course must be completed; property must be a SFR, condo or townhome. 


Fannie Mae’s HomePath® Ready Buyer Program 



The HomePath Ready Buyer program is not a down payment assistance loan program but it’s a closing cost assistance program that provides up to 3% closing cost assistance for qualified creditworthy first time home buyers purchasing a Fannie Mae HomePath property.


The purpose of the Program is to educate first time home buyers to help them better understand the home buying process. Buyers must complete an online homebuyer education course and receive a Certificate of Completion even if they are not first-time homebuyers. The course used to cost $75 but as of October 23, 2019, Fannie Mae officially began waiving the fee.


Three of the most popular loan programs to use with the HomePath Ready Buyer closing cost assistance program are the 3% down HomeREADY loan program, the 3% down HomePossible Advantage loan program, and the 3.5% down FHA loan program. 


With HomeReady, borrowers may have the option to cancel their mortgage insurance once their home equity reaches 20%. This can result in lower monthly payments down the road.


GSFA Platinum® — Down Payment Assistance Program


Since 2010, Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA) has helped more than 24 000 low-to-moderate income homebuyers to purchase homes through the GSFA Platinum Program by down payment and/or closing cost assistance (DPA).


The program offers financial assistance up to 5% to use for down payment and/or closing costs. Borrowers must meet income-eligibility (low-to-moderate income), the  property being purchased must be used as a primary residence, and the minimum FICO is 640 | Maximum DTI is 45%. The program is not not limited to first-time homebuyers.


For many homebuyers, the assistance is provided as a zero percent Second Mortgage with no monthly payments and is completely forgiven after three years from the close of escrow. While for Platinum "Select" qualifying homebuyers, the assistance is provided as a gift never to be repaid. FHA Energy Efficient mortgage loans, USDA guaranteed home loans, along with a variety of public safety and education occupations (people serving in a Law Enforcement capacity; firefighters and EMTs, etc) can also qualify the homebuyer for DPA as a gift.


NHF Sapphire Grant


NHF provides eligible homebuyers with a 3% grant money added to a Conventional Loan originated, funded, and serviced by Mountain West Financial. The grant is available for FHA to use for down payment and closing costs. 


The grant is available in all counties throughout California. Borrowers do not have to be first time buyers. Buyers only need a 620 minimum FICO. 

NHF Down Payment Assistance 


NHF provides down payment and/or closing cost assistance, up to 5% of the mortgage loan amount.


NHF DPA is provided for both purchase and refinance of a primary residence and is offered in the form of either a Gift or a zero interest rate Second Mortgage that is forgiven after three years. It is available in all 50 U.S. States, and there is no requirement that a borrower be a first-time homebuyer to qualify. 


Down Payment Assistance Programs by County

Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire (NHSIE) 


NHSIE Lending offers home purchase assistance to first-time home buyer families through these programs:


SOAR 

SOAR is a $10,000 down payment and/or closing cost loan for first time home buyers with a credit score of 640 or higher. Borrowers are required to have a pre-approval from a preferred lender, have homebuyer education, a minimum contribution of $1,500. The term is 7 years for conventional and 10 years for FHA (30 year amortization). Interest rate will match first mortgage loan with 5% rate cap. The loan can be subordinated to 3rd position. 


CalHome program

this is a mortgage assistance loan administered by NHSIE Homeownership Center for purchases throughout Riverside County & San Bernardino County. The assistance amounts equal to 10% of the purchase price/appraisal value or up to $18,000 (whichever is less) in the form of a silent second mortgage, deferred for 30 years at 3%. Borrowers must be first time homebuyers with a minimum FICO score of 640 and must qualify for an FHA or Conventional 30 year fixed-rate mortgage with an NHSIE Approved Lender. 


REACH

REACH is a down payment assistance program funded by a grant from East West Bank. The program provides up to 3% of the sale price (as high as $12,500) to use towards the down payment or closing costs to eligible homebuyers who are purchasing a home within the county limits of San Bernardino, Riverside, or San Diego, California. No repayment of these funds is required as they are structured as a “soft second” mortgage that is forgiven over a one year period.

The borrowers must be New East West Bank mortgage customers and must qualify for Fannie Mae’s HomeReady Loan.


Alameda County Homebuyer Programs


Emeryville First Time Homebuyer Loan Program 



The First Time Homebuyer (FTHB) Loan Program was established by the City of Emeryville. It provides down payment assistance to households at or below moderate income that are purchasing a market-rate or co-op home in Emeryville, in the form of a low-interest, deferred-payment loan.


The loan interest rate is 75% of the first mortgage interest rate, or 5%, whichever is less.

The borrower must make at least a 3% down payment and occupy the unit as a primary residence during the duration of the loan term. The maximum loan amount from the City is the least of the following: 

  • 150% of buyers down payment

  • 20% sale price in contract

  • 20% of maximum price from the then-current housing affordability table on the City website 


The buyer’s income must be at or below 120% of the area median income, based on household size. The loan is due upon sale or transfer, when the unit ceases to be owner-occupied, or in 30 years, whichever comes first.


First Time Homebuyer Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) 


The Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) is a City of Oakland loan program that assists low and moderate income first time homebuyers with the purchase of homes in the City of Oakland. The City of Oakland will lend qualifying homebuyers up to $75,000 to purchase a home. These loans are secured by a Deed of Trust on the property and require no monthly payments. 3.00% simple interest accrues annually, and the loan is due in 30 years or when the borrower sells, transfers, refinances the property (under certain conditions) or converts the home to rental property. 


In order to qualify applicants' annual household income may not exceed 120% of the Area Median Income, at least one adult household member must be an Oakland resident, an Oakland worker/student or an Oakland displacee (displaced from a former Oakland home), and buyers must contribute 3% of the purchase price from their own funds to pay for down payment and/or closing costs. 


Butte County Home Loan Assistance


Town of Paradise First Time Home Buyer Program 


The Town of Paradise offers a deferred, low-interest loan to eligible first-time homebuyers as down payment assistance to purchase a home. The loan is a “bridge” or “gap” loan meaning that the loan amount is based on the difference between what the borrower can afford and the amount of money needed to purchase the home. The loan is secured by a Deed of Trust and does not require monthly payments. The loan is due in 30 years or when the home is sold; the homeowner stops using it as their principal residence; or the title is transferred out of the name of the original borrower. 3% simple interest is accrued.


To qualify for the program, borrowers must meet the income guidelines, be a first time buyer, qualify for a primary loan and provide 2% down payment (based on the price of home - funds can be gifted).


The purchased home must be located within the Paradise Town limits.

Contra Costa County Down Payment Assistance


Brentwood Down Payment Assistance Program 


The City of Brentwood’s Housing Division offers The Down payment Assistance Program (DAP), a deferred payment loan program which helps income eligible persons /families in the purchase of their first home in the City of Brentwood. The DAP funds help the first time homebuyer with the down payment and/or closing costs. 


This down payment assistance loan may only be used with conventional, fixed rate loans in first position. The current maximum loan amount is up to $10,000. Applicants must be able to contribute at least 3% of the purchase price of the home with their own personal funds to be eligible for the program. Repayment is deferred until the term of the first mortgage is reached; when the borrower vacates the property, or when the home is refinanced for a larger first mortgage. At that time, borrowers must repay the City’s loan plus accrued interest with ranges 7%, 5%, 3%; the interest rate starts higher and decreases the longer you live in your home. 


First Time Homebuyer Program 


Through the First Time Homebuyer Program the City of Pittsburg provides a loan up to $20,000 in down payment assistance (non-recurring closing costs such as credit report, escrow, recording fees, title report, and title insurance may be included). 

The loan bears a 3% interest with a term of 30 years, the repayment of the loan is deferred until the property changes title or is refinanced for cash out. The borrower will be required to pay at least 1% of the purchase price and must provide evidence of pre approval from a primary lender.

Borrower(s) must complete a Homebuyer Education class through a HUD certified counseling agency. The home must remain as an affordable unit for 45 years. A Deed of Trust and Resale Restriction Agreement will be recorded on the title of the property. Home purchased must be located within Pittsburg.

Monterey County


First Time Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Program 


The County offers the First Time Homebuyers (FTHB) Down Payment Assistance Program. The program is funded by HOME funds provided by the State. The County can assist individuals by lending income-qualified households part of the down payment to purchase a home in the unincorporated areas of the County.


The homebuyer must contribute at least 3.5% of the purchase price, must complete a HUD-approved homebuyer education class and is required to have incomes at or below 80% of the County’s area median income (AMI), adjusted for household size, as published by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.


The primary loan must be fully amortized and have a term “all due and payable” in no fewer than 30 years. There shall not be a balloon payment due before the maturity date of the FTHB Program loan. The combined loan-to-value ratio, shall not exceed 100% of the sales price plus a maximum of up to 5% of the sales price to cover actual closing costs.


San Mateo County 


HEART's First Time Homebuyer Program 


Since 2008, HEART (The Housing Endowment And Regional Trust of San Mateo County) has partnered with Meriwest Mortgage, a wholly owned subsidiary of the not-for-profit Meriwest Credit Union, to offer qualified, moderate-income families a downpayment assistance program to buy a home in San Mateo County with a 5% down payment and no PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance).


The program combines a 30-year, conforming or high-balance fixed-rate loan of up to $726,525  from Meriwest Mortgage, and a 15-year, below market rate second lien downpayment loan of up to $136,223 from HEART.


In order to qualify homebuyers must live or work in San Mateo County, purchase a condo or single family home anywhere in San Mateo County, they and their family must earn $170,000 or less each year. All borrowers must have good credit – FICO score 680 or higher, be a first-time buyer and be able to make a down payment of 5% of the purchase price.


San Diego County Homebuyer Programs


Homebuyer Downpayment & Closing Cost Assistance (DCCA) / CalHome Program        



The County of San Diego has partnered with the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) to administer the Downpayment and Closing Cost (DCCA) Program. 


The CalHome Program provides applicants up to 17% of the total property price for down payment assistance, and 4%  (up to $10,000) in closing costs assistance. These funds come in the form of a loan with a 3% simple interest per year, accrued annually. No monthly payments are required on this loan, as it is deferred until the home is refinanced (not including an FHA Streamline Refinance), sold, paid off, or no longer serving as the borrower’s primary residence. The loan repayment will be one payment of the original principal loan amount plus any accrued interest.


The program is only available to first-time homebuyers. All applicants must have an annual gross household income at or under 80% of San Diego County’s area median income, as determined by HUD. They must also be able to contribute at least 3% of the purchase price from your own funds, and receive the maximum first mortgage loan for which they qualify (DCCA/CalHome loan cannot exceed 33% of the total purchase price). Borrowers are also required to complete a HUD/CalHome-approved homebuyer education class to qualify for the program.


Under the CalHome Program, the purchased property must serve as the borrower’s primary residence and must be located within the CalHome jurisdictional boundaries, which include unincorporated areas of the County of San Diego and the cities of Carlsbad, Coronado, Del Mar, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and Vista.


American Dream First Time Homebuyer Program 


The City of El Cajon American Dream First-Time Homebuyer Program is a shared appreciation equity loan in compliance with the HOME Program. The HOME loan may be used for down-payment, on fully amortizing 30-year fixed rate loans only.


The program helps first-time homebuyers to purchase a new or existing home within the City limits by providing financing to make housing affordable to low-income households. 


The Borrower(s) must contribute 0% of the purchase price for down-payment for the property, but they must contribute 100% of the closing costs that can be derived from gift funds, liquid assets, and/or retirement funds. No monthly payments are required, and repayment is deferred until the borrower sells, transfers, refinances, converts the home to a rental property, or property is non-owner occupied. No interest – instead, the City shares the equity. The principal does not decrease.


City of Escondido’s Homebuyer Entry Loan Program (HELP) 


The City of Escondido’s Homebuyer Entry Loan Program (HELP) provides eligible first time homebuyers with a low-interest loan limited to 5% of the purchase price that can be used toward the down payment and/or for closing costs.


Eligible homebuyers must provide an additional 1% of the purchase price toward closing costs and/or down payment. Affordability restrictions of 10 years will apply to the property. During this time, the property may not be rented out. Repayment of the City’s loan is deferred until you sell, transfer, refinance, add additional liens to the property, or no longer live in the home as your principal

Residence.


All homebuyers must complete a Homebuyer Training Program prior to receiving a loan from the City. 


Los Angeles County Home Purchase Programs


Home Ownership Program (HOP) 



HOP is financed with HOME funds provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is designed to meet the needs of low-income families. HOP provides loans of up to 20% of the purchase price for down payment and closing costs assistance not to exceed $75,000. Each loan is a second Trust Deed loan provided at 0% interest with all payments deferred until sale, transfer, refinancing, no longer owner-occupied, or full repayment of the first mortgage. 


All applicants must complete an 8-hour homebuyer education seminar from an approved HUD counseling agency and must invest a minimum of 1% of the down payment, not including closing costs of their OWN funds. 


HOP loans are available to first-time homebuyers in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and cities participating in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Urban County Program.


Low Income Purchase Assistance Program 



Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) offers the Low Income Purchase Assistance Program (LIPA), a program for first-time, low income homebuyers to help them purchase homes by providing loans of up to $90,000 to cover the down payment, acquisition, and closing costs.


The loan is deferred, requiring no monthly payments. Repayment is due on sale, title transfer, first mortgage repayment, or in 30 years.


Applicants must contribute a minimum of 1% of the home price from their own funds as down payment (some homebuyers may be required to contribute more than 1% toward the down payment). They may also be required to apply for the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program (MCC) and must attend an 8-hour, in-person Homebuyer Education Class.


Properties must be located in Los Angeles and must pass the City inspection. Any required corrections or repairs on the property should be done at the cost of the owner or homebuyer and must be completed before the application for financial assistance is submitted.


Orange County Downpayment and Mortgage Programs


Santa Ana Downpayment Assistance Loan Program 



The City offers first-time home buyers down payment assistance loans of up to $80,000 with 0% interest rate to purchase a home within the City of Santa Ana. 


Repayment of the City loan principal balance will be required at the end of the 45-year term of affordability. Prospective homebuyer that graduated from a high school located in Santa Ana and has a 4-year college degree is eligible for a loan forgiveness up to $40,000 ($10,000 will be forgiven every five (5) years up to a twenty-year period). 


Borrower(s) must complete a minimum of eight hours of in-person home ownership training offered by a counseling center approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Applicants must also have at least 3% of the purchase price for a down payment from seasoned funds (at least 90 days seasoned). Seasoned funds cannot be from gift funds. Gift funds may contribute towards the purchase; gift funds may not exceed 3% of the purchase price.


SCHFA FIRST HOME Grant Mortgage Program 



For more than 25 years, SCHFA (Southern California Home Financing Authority, a joint powers authority between Los Angeles and Orange Counties formed in June 1988 to create first-time homebuyer programs for low- to moderate-income households) has helped thousands of qualifying homebuyers purchase a home. 


SCHFA FIRST HOME Grant Mortgage Program is administered by the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) and the Public Finance Division of the County of Orange. Under the program, applicants can receive up to 4 percent of the total first mortgage amount in the form of a non repayable grant to be put toward paying the down payment and closing cost assistance. Applicants can purchase new or existing homes within all unincorporated areas and incorporated cities in Los Angeles County (except the City of Los Angeles), and all unincorporated areas and incorporated cities in Orange County.


Eligible applicants must fall under the program’s income limits, have a minimum FICO credit score of 640, and a debt-to-income ratio not exceeding 45 percent. All applicants are required to attend a homebuyer education course, with certificates of completion dated 12 months prior to the closing of escrow.


Fresno County Homebuyer Assistance


City of Clovis Down Payment Assistance Program 



The City of Clovis has a First-Time Homebuyer Program for low - to moderate-income households.  The purpose of this program is to provide low-interest, deferred loans to homebuyers to facilitate a monthly mortgage payment that is affordable to lower income households. There is currently a waiting list for this program. 


Homebuyer Assistance Program (HAP) 


The Homebuyer Assistance Program helps low to moderate-income families purchase their first home by providing a loan that shall not exceed 20% of the purchase price of the single family residence plus loan closing costs. Loans are zero interest with payments deferred for 30 years or until the primary mortgage is fully paid, whichever occurs first. 


A minimum cash investment of 1.5% of the sales price of the residence is required from the buyer.  Homeowner Training course is required and must be completed prior to loan approval. The target area is the unincorporated areas of Fresno County and the participating cities of Fowler, Kerman, Kingsburg, Reedley and Selma.


Kings County


City of Corcoran First Time Home Buyer Program 


The City of Corcoran offers programs that offer no interest/no monthly loan payments for eligible households. The City of Corcoran will act as a secondary loan at 0% interest deferred for 30 years, and can loan up to 49% of the purchase price of the home. The Homebuyer Assistance Program is funded by the State Department of Housing and Community Development Grant Programs. 


Applicants must be first-time homebuyers, provide a minimal 1% down payment, qualify with a bank or mortgage company for a primary loan, complete a homebuyer education course and have gross annual income not exceeding 80% Annual Median Income for family size. The property must be located in the City Limits of Corcoran.


Imperial County


First Time Homebuyer Program (FTHB) 


FTHP is funded with program income generated through the CalHFA Housing Enabled by Local Partnerships (HELP) Program. The program offers downpayment assistance to all first time homebuyer qualified residents of the City to purchase an existing or qualifying new home in the City of El Centro. The eligible buyer may qualify for a maximum loan amount of $25,000 for down payment assistance with 0% interest (the principal loan will be amortized for a maximum period of twenty years.)


The applicants must be first time buyers; must qualify for a permanent 30 year, fixed rate loan provided by a Federal or State Agency; must inject 2% of the purchase price as their share of the downpayment, as well as must attend an eight-hour Homeownership Education Workshop and must be pre-approved by a City approved lender. 


Santa Clara County 

City of San José’s Homebuyer Program 

The City of San José’s Homebuyer Program helps low and moderate-income households attain homeownership in San Jose’s neighborhoods through down-payment assistance loans provided by the City. The Program is comprised of three main programs, and the City requires a minimum loan amount of $5,000 for each of the homebuyer programs:

  • BEGIN (Building Equity & Growth in Neighborhoods) Program: Downpayment assistance program in new construction developments for low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyer.

  • CalHOME Program: Downpayment assistance program in specific new construction developments for low-income first-time homebuyer.

  • Inclusionary Second Mortgage Program: The Inclusionary second mortgage program is currently dormant. 

All City loans are structured as deferred repayment loans with an interest rate of 3% simple interest and a term of 30 years. There is no prepayment penalty on any of these loans. 


The home must be located within the municipal boundaries of the City of San José (cannot be located in county pockets).

Homebuyer Empowerment Loan Program (HELP) 



HELP (Homebuyer Empowerment Loan Program) is designed to provide first-time homebuyers buying a primary residence in Santa Clara County or the cities of Menlo Park or East Palo Alto with down payment assistance for up to half of their down payment (or 10% of the purchase price of a house up to $800,000).


A HELP loan is a thirty year deferred loan, plus a share of the home’s appreciation that matches what you borrow. Because the loan is a shared appreciation loan, no monthly payments of any kind are required. Payment is deferred until your loan reaches its maturity date, you decide to sell your home, or you refinance your mortgage.


Eligible borrowers must have pre-approval from an approved lender (done prior to submitting application) and their household income must be within the designated limits. They must also complete a HUD-certified 8 Hour Homebuyer Education class through the designated agency. 

Shasta County Homebuyer Programs

The Homebuyer Program (HP)  


The Homebuyer Program (HP) assists low income, first time homebuyers with a deferred loan (second mortgage), due and payable when the property is sold, transferred, or at the end of the loan term. The maximum HP loan amount cannot exceed $65,000. The borrower must contribute 3% of the purchase price towards the purchase. Loan repayment is deferred for 30 years at an annual interest rate of 0% (equity share conditions may apply). 

Eligible households are those whose annual income does not exceed 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), adjusted by household size. The home selected must be located within the City limits of Shasta Lake.

City of Redding Homebuyer Program (HP)


The City of Redding offers income eligible families or individuals a “silent” second loan to purchase a home within the city limits of Redding. No monthly payments are required.


Applicants must be first time buyers; must provide cash resources equal to 3% of the purchase price, plus any closing costs that are the responsibility of the buyer. One-half of the downpayment must be from the buyer’s own assets. All other amounts may be in the form of a gift from another person or entity. The home must be located within the Redding city limits.

Stanislaus County

City of Turlock First Time Home Buyers Program (FTHB)


The City of Turlock offers First Time Home Buyers Program (FTHB) to help eligible applicants purchase a home with a downpayment assistance of up to $50,000 or 40% (whichever is less) of the sales price of a home. These funds are made possible through federal and state funded programs. No monthly payments are required. The loan will accrue at 3% simple interest for 30 years.


The total amount of the loan plus any accrued interest becomes due and payable when the property is sold, rented, no longer occupied by the primary borrower or 30 years whichever occurs first.


To qualify for the program, applicants must be below 80% of Stanislaus County's median income for the number of people in their household; must contribute a minimum of $3,000.00 to be used toward the purchase of the home (funds must be available at the time of application and have been seasoned for a minimum of 3 months); must have good credit with no outstanding collections, judgments, liens or any other negative debt; must qualify for a new current market rate first mortgage with a lender of their choice that accepts the First Time Homebuyer Program; and must be a first time home buyer.

Tulare County First Time Home 

City of Tulare First Time Homebuyer Program 


The City of Tulare in partnership with Self-Help Enterprises is offering the First Time Homebuyer  program which is available to income eligible families to purchase a newly constructed or existing home within the City of Tulare. The program is designed to provide additional funds to keep first mortgage payments affordable. Funds can assist with a down payment and/or closing costs. Funds will provide the eligible borrower with a deferred 30-year term loan at 0% interest and secured by a second Deed of Trust.

First Time Home Buyer Program (FTHB) 


The City of Porterville’s First Time Low Income Home Buyer Program (FTHB)  program provides lower income applicants with second trust deed loans to use toward reducing the first mortgage liability on the home and/or assist in the down payment (that portion that is eligible for gifting or local government assistance) and/or eligible closing costs. This loan assists qualified applicants in purchasing an affordable home in the City of Porterville.

The assistance through this program may not exceed 35% of the sales price per household. The secured loan will be deferred for thirty years at a rate of 1% simple interest with the total balance due at the end of that 30 year term, sale of property, transfer of title, or the borrower no longer occupies the home. In order to be eligible, the borrower’s income must fall between 30% and 80% of the median income of the Visalia-Porterville-Tulare MSA, adjusted for family size, as defined annually by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Tuolumne County

City of Sonora Homebuyer's Assistance Loan Program


The City of Sonora provides deferred payment, “silent second” mortgages of up to $100,000 to low-income households in the purchase of a home within the City limits. Funding for the Program is derived from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. 

The applicants must be first time home buyers, must be able to provide personal funds equal to three percent of the purchase price of the house selected or $3,000, whichever is greater as a down payment. The house must be located within the incorporated City Limits of Sonora. The down payment and/or mortgage subsidy assistance by the City will be provided at either 0% or 3% interest, as a deferred payment loan up to $100,000 using CDBG Funds. 


All loans will be due and payable in full, 31 years from the date of the secured Promissory Note. All loans will be immediately due and payable upon the sale or transfer of the property or when the property is no longer used as the principal residence of the borrower. Loans may be paid, in whole or by periodic payments, at any time without penalty.