Buyer Assistance Programs
Statistics taken between 2004 and 2017 show a steady decline in homeownership in America, which is probably due to the costs attached to getting your first property. Back in 2004, over 69 percent of residents owned their own home but 13 years later 64 percent of households were owned by the occupants. The government is obviously aware of the situation because they’ve implemented a number of initiatives that will help first-time buyers get their own property.
HUD, the US Dept of Housing and Urban Development , provides a variety of funding programs. HUD’s mission is to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing. HUD does not provide funds directly to individuals. Instead, they provide grants to government agencies, faith-based and community organizations that leverage resources and, in turn, provide programs to residents within their communities. Not every community applies for every funding opportunity, so it is best to contact the City and/or County that you live in for detailed information on what is available in your area
Hopefully some of the first-time homebuyer programs detailed here will help you to realize your goal of owning your own property.
Federal Housing Administration Loan
One of the best options for those with a fair credit rating of around 580 or higher is a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan. A loan through the FHA is protected as lenders won’t lose out if you default on the mortgage. A competitive rate of interest, small down payments and lower closing costs also make this type of loan very attractive to anyone looking to own their first home. If your credit rating is lower than 580, you might be accepted but you’ll be charged a higher interest rate and might need to make a bigger down payment.
California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) - homebuyer programs, including downpayment and closing cost assistance, and foreclosure prevention resources
U.S. Department of Agriculture Loan
The USDA homebuyer assistance program focused on homes in select rural areas but that doesn’t mean you’ll need to run a farm to get this type of financial assistance. The big plus here is that the USDA guarantees the home loan but there are other advantages too, including a low down payment and a fixed loan repayment amount. You’ll need a credit rating of 640 or more to be considered and there are income limitations that change from region to region.
The Good Neighbor Next Door Program
If you’re in the emergency services, you might be eligible for a home loan through the Good Neighbor Next Door Program. As well as police officers and firefighters, teachers and medical technicians can also be accepted into the program which gives a 50 percent discount on a home’s listed price. There are a limited amount of properties within the scheme and you have to commit to living in the property for at least three years but that’s not too much to ask for such a big reduction in the property’s price.
Energy Efficient Mortgage
An energy efficient mortgage, which is sometimes called a “green mortgage”, can be used to improve your home’s environmental rating. This program is backed by the federal government who insure the loans through the FHA. The big thing here is that you will end up with an energy-efficient property without the need to make a big down payment as this cost is absorbed within the loan. Improvements like double-glazing, modern heating systems and top-grade insulation will save you money in the short, medium and long-term.
FHA Section 203(k)
This type of loan takes into account the value of a property once home improvements have been completed. The Section 203(k) rehabilitation program, which is backed by the FHA, lets you borrow the money needed to improve your place and repay it through your main mortgage. The down payment can be as low as three percent so if you opt for a fixer-upper, you won’t need to stake too much cash which will leave you with more money to help renovate the property.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Don’t let the odd names fool you, we’re not kidding around when we suggest you look seriously at a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan. These government-sponsored groups work with lenders to offer low and moderate income families the opportunity to own their own place. A competitive interest rate and down payments as low as three percent make this attractive for anyone looking to own their first place. The other advantage of this program is that Fannie Mae provides homeowners with education material through the “HomePath Ready Buyer” program
Home Ownership Center – VCCDC (Ventura County Community Development Corp)
VCCDC is a one-stop resource that provides a variety of assistance throughout the home-buying process. From our education services, including workshops and counseling, to our lending and realty support, including down payment assistance and consulting for first-time buyers, we ensure that you are supported from start to finish.
Monthly First Time Home Buyer workshops:
Take a Homebuyer Class
VCCDC Homeowner Scam & Fraud Prevention for Seniors Workshop – December 15, 2015
MCC program – Mortgage Credit Certification program: offered in each City and County unincorporated areas. The MCC is a Federal Income Tax Credit program. An MCC provides a double bonus. It increases the loan amount you qualify for and it increases your take-home pay. The MCC entitles you to take a federal income tax credit of twenty percent (20%) of the annual interest you pay on your home mortgage. Because the MCC reduces your federal income taxes and increases your net earnings, it is a great help in qualifying for your first home mortgage. The MCC is registered with the IRS, and it continues to decrease your federal income taxes each year for as long as you live in your home. Start by clicking on this link (MCC is toward the bottom of the website page) and contact a Participating Lender from your county area:
GSFA Mortgage Credit Certificate Program (GSFA MCC®)
Rural Home Improvement and repair loans/grants – applies only to applicants that are in the very low to low median income categories (see Income Limits Eligibility link below)
HPRP – County of Ventura’s Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program – Assists local residents who are currently homeless or facing homelessness from rental housing within 21 days. Assistance may include: rental deposits; short-term rental payments; credit counseling; utility deposits; utility payments; and/or moving and storage costs. Case managers work closely with clients to develop and implement a service plan to ensure they access other public benefits. Clients are stabilized in housing and assisted comprehensively to help ensure they do not face homelessness again.
HUD tips on avoiding or dealing with foreclosure – Whether you’re in foreclosure now or worried about it in the future, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has information that can help.
Avoiding Foreclosure Scams
Click on the link above to view the Federal Reserve Board’s Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure Scams
HopeNow – The HOPE NOW Alliance includes a number of counseling organizations, which consists of all HUD Intermediaries that have affiliate offices across the United States. The organizations play a key role in the success of HOPE NOW, providing homeowners in-depth debt management, credit counseling and overall foreclosure counseling.
Ventura County Call 211 – Help Starts Here – http://www.211ventura.org
- 2-1-1 is free and confidential and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Provides callers with information about, and referrals to, health and human services for basic needs and in times of crisis
- Can offer access to services such as critical human needs including food, clothing, and shelter, physical and mental health resources, drug and alcohol intervention and rehabilitation, support for the elderly, employment support including job training and transportation assistance, information on child care, recreation programs, and where to volunteer
Housing Authorities in the County of Ventura:
The Area Housing Authority of the County of Ventura (AHA) is an independent, federally funded, non-profit agency serving the unincorporated areas of Ventura County and the cities of Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Simi Valley, and Thousand Oaks. The AHA administers a rental subsidy program called the Housing Choice Voucher Program, commonly referred to as Section 8. The Area Housing Authority also administers HUD’s Public Housing Program, also referred to as Low Rent Public Housing. There are 355 housing units which are owned, managed and maintained by the Area Housing Authority.
The Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura is a state chartered, federally funded, non-profit public agency, managing and administering housing assistance programs to provide decent, safe and affordable housing to low and moderate income families. The Housing Authority administers two programs. (1) The Housing Developments owned, managed and maintained by the PHA are referred to as Conventional Housing, or Low Rent Public Housing. There are 716 Conventional units in the City of Ventura, ranging in size from 0 bedrooms to 4 bedrooms. (2) The Section 8 Housing Voucher Program is a rental subsidy program administered by this agency.
The mission of the Housing Authority of the City of Port Hueneme is to provide quality housing to eligible households in a professional, fiscally prudent manner and be a positive force in our community by working with others to assist these families with appropriate supportive services. The Housing Authority administers two federally-subsidized HUD programs: the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Rental Assistance Program and the Conventional Low-Income Public Housing Program.
The mission of the City of Oxnard Housing Department is to provide decent, safe, attractive, sanitary and well maintained housing for eligible low and very low income families in a manner that promotes commitment, exemplary customer services, economy, efficiency, and the social well being of the residents. Services include assistance with Public Housing and Rental Assistance.
The Santa Paula Housing Authority provides Section 8 rental subsidies to lower income families and seniors. The Section 8 vouchers assist lower-income households by paying the difference between 30% of an eligible household’s income and the actual cost of renting a unit. The Housing Authority also owns 72 low-income housing units at four locations. Phone: (805) 525-3339
Ventura County Affordable Housing Providers:
Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation – CEDC, 805-659-6868, www.cabrilloedc.org
Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) is a nonprofit community development corporation whose mission is to provide comprehensive housing services that facilitate self-sufficiency for those most lacking in opportunity in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Incorporated in 1981, Cabrillo’s early roots were in response to a farmworker community’s need for stable, secure homes. Responding to these and other community-identified priorities continues to guide our approach to community development. Today, CEDC also provides housing for low-income families, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities. Cabrillo brings community HOME for those who need it most.
Peoples’ Self Help Housing Corporation – PSHHC, 805-781-3088, www.pshhc.org
Peoples’ Self-Help Housing is a nonprofit affordable housing developer that builds affordable homes with site-based services that offer opportunities to change lives and strengthen communities on the central and south coasts of California. PSHH serves low-income working families, farmworkers, seniors, and veterans and provides welcoming environments for those living with disabilities and the formerly homeless.
Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County, (805) 485-6065, http://www.habitatventura.org
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County is a locally-run and locally-funded affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Since 1983, 70 Habitat homeowners have helped build their own home alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Habitat’s Home Repair Program has partnered with 120 homeowners to address critical health and safety needs, keeping people safe and stable in their own home for longer. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower.
Many Mansions, (805) 496-4948, www.manymansions.org
Since 1979, Many Mansions has provided hope and homes to people in need in Ventura County. As an affordable housing and services provider, Many Mansions owns and operates over 500 units of housing in the communities of Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, and Santa Paula. In addition to housing, Many Mansions also provides a wide variety of life-enriching services that range from case management for formerly homeless residents to afterschool homework help to monthly food assistance. Many Mansions serves low-income households, seniors, veterans, and those who are disabled and homeless.
"The Spouses that Sell Houses"