5 questions for the new head of the California Housing Finance Agency
The consequence of historic housing discrimination, coupled with exclusionary housing policies, means families of color simply don’t have much of a chance to create wealth or help the next generation with down payments.
CalHFA has been successful with our down payment assistance program. We also provide closing cost assistance for low and moderate income Californians. These have effectively helped first-time homebuyers with over $ 600 million in assistance over the past three years, giving them access to over $ 10 billion in mortgages. In 2020 alone, CalHFA helped more than 9,000 Californians access homeownership, 68% of whom were families of color.
We also recently launched our secondary secondary finance product, which is a grant of up to $ 25,000 to cover pre-development costs. And it’s a grant – not a lien on their property like some of the other programs that have been developed. We target low income homeowners and low net worth homeowners, with the ultimate goal of increasing their net worth and providing them with another source of income. It will also help increase the rental housing stock that our state is sorely lacking. It is a triple threat.
We started this program with $ 19 million and then Governor Newsom gave an additional $ 81 million from his California state budget. We now have a total of $ 100 million available for these grants and I challenge my team to get that money out as quickly as possible.