CalHFA’s Dream For All Program Coming Back

In the spring of 2023, the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) introduced a groundbreaking initiative: no-interest, no-monthly-payment loans aimed at helping lower-income residents overcome financial barriers to purchasing their first home. The response was overwhelming and the entire budget of nearly $300 million was exhausted in a mere 11 days.

Bringing back the program for 2024, California has allocated an additional $225 million to the program for this year. With this infusion of funds, CalHFA aims to continue supporting aspiring homeowners, but with a revamped approach. This spring, rather than operating on a first-come, first-served basis, the program will select qualified applicants through a lottery system.

In addition to the new selection process, new eligibility criteria have been developed with an aim at getting the funds to those most in need. Now, applicants must not only be non-homeowners themselves but also have parents who are not currently homeowners. By focusing resources on Californians facing significant housing challenges, the program seeks to maximize its impact and address critical housing needs across the state.

The Dream For All program is one avenue that is making homeownership more accessible for all Californians. It is not the only program designed to assist first time homebuyers. Aspiring homebuyers are encouraged to stay informed and engaged as they navigate the evolving landscape of housing assistance programs in the state.

More information on the Dream For All program can be found on the official CalHFA website here:
https://www.calhfa.ca.gov/dream/index.htm.  Information about other financing programs available through CalHFA can be found at: https://www.calhfa.ca.gov/homebuyer/programs/index.htm.

California offers a range of programs to assist first-time homebuyers, including grants, loans, and other resources designed to make homeownership more accessible and affordable. Here’s a summary of notable programs available:

  • Pathway to Homeownership Closing Cost Assistance: This grant program, established by the California Association of Realtors’ Housing Affordability Fund, provides up to $10,000 to help cover closing costs for eligible first-time buyers in California who are members of underserved communities and meet certain income limits.
  • Federal Programs: Including FHA Loans, which require a down payment as low as 3.5% and are available to buyers with lower credit scores; VA Loans, offering zero down payment options for veterans and service members; and USDA Loans for rural homebuyers with zero down payment required. Additionally, Freddie Mac Home Possible Mortgages and Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgages offer low down payment options for low-income borrowers.
  • Local Programs: Various localities in California offer their own first-time homebuyer assistance programs, such as the City of Norwalk, County of San Diego, City of Oakland, City of Los Angeles, and others. These programs often include down payment and closing cost assistance.

For more detailed information on eligibility, application processes, and to find out which programs best suit your situation, you can research these programs online or work with a real estate professional in your community that is familiar with these programs.