California Aid Program for First-Time Homebuyers Is Open for 2024 While Funds Last

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The Dream for All plan provides $150,000 in down payment assistance for recipients chosen by lottery.

The California Dream for All Fund is now welcoming new applicants for up to $150,000 in down payment assistance on a home for first-time buyers.

Applications will be accepted until April 29 at 5 p.m.

For those approved, the program provides loans for 20 percent of a home’s value, but no greater than $150,000, and purchasers repay it when selling or transferring the property plus 20 percent of any appreciation in its value. Those making less than their county’s area median income pay 15 percent of the appreciation.

Since its introduction last year, $300 million in loans were claimed in just 11 days, according to CalMatters. This year, 2,000 such homebuyers are expected to share $250 million in state funds.

Last year, 2,182 Californians used the program to purchase a home, according to the housing finance agency, with 55 percent of recipients belonging to communities of color.

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Applicants must work with an approved lender, take a one-hour education course, and provide identification including a driver’s license and proof of current address.

Earlier this year a bill—AB 1840—was introduced in California that would allow illegal immigrants to qualify for the program, which is currently only for legal citizens.

“I wanted to ensure that qualified first-time homebuyers include undocumented applicants,” the bill’s author, Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, told GV Wire, an online news outlet based in Fresno.

The program does not cost the state—as loans made are eventually paid back along with an appreciation fee—and adding illegal immigrants would only widen the pool of applicants, he told the news outlet.

The bill has been referred to the Assembly’s Housing and Community Development committee and is waiting to be heard.

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