Today, Congressman Doug LaMalfa announced that $750,000 in down payment assistance grants for middle-income home buyers has been awarded to hard-working individuals and families in California’s 1st District.
This private funding, not via taxpayer dollars, provided through a pilot program designed and funded by the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, will award 15 $50,000 grants to California’s First District and 22 more grants throughout the state to be used as down payment assistance for middle-income, first time homeowners.
“Homeownership has become out of reach for many hardworking Americans. Increasing costs of building materials, ongoing labor shortages, rising construction costs from increased regulations, and increasing interest rates all lead to more expensive homes. These grants will help those who are struggling to afford a home down payment” said LaMalfa.
With an initial allocation total of $10 million, FHLBank San Francisco’s pilot Middle-Income Downpayment Assistance Program was launched in May of this year to bridge the homeownership gap for the “missing middle” – teachers, firefighters, farmers, factory workers, and other hard-working individuals that have been increasingly left behind in the face of rising home prices and interest rates.
In addition, there is a new rule from the California Department of Insurance that could potentially dramatically increase homeowner insurance rates as well. New data from the National Association of Realtors shows that a buyer today needs to make at least $107,232 a year to afford the median price of a home, and that buying power has been diminished so much that a homebuyer’s dollar today goes about half as far as it did at the end of 2020.
“Fostering home ownership for all of the working class across our region is at the core of our mission, and we are committed to continuing to funnel critical funding into the heart of the communities we serve,” said Teresa Bryce Bazemore, CEO and president of FHLBank San Francisco. “This is the first year of our Middle-Income Downpayment Assistance Program, and its creation was an important step to voluntarily increase the bank’s ongoing investment in homeownership and other programs that make a difference in underserved communities. We’re grateful for Representative LaMalfa’s support and engagement and for the enthusiastic participation of our member lenders in California that made our program’s inaugural year such a success.”