First Time Home Buyer Programs in California

California first time home buyer programs

If you are a resident of Califonia looking to buy your first home, there is some good news. There are a variety of programs and incentives available to you through the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA). CalHFA has organized its program information into convenient handbooks for easy reference. All the information for a given program—from qualifying criteria to forms & docs—is collected in one easy place. You can print them out for desktop reference, or browse and search them online in PDF format. Get familiar with their layout, and you’ll be a CalHFA program whiz in no time.

Here are the descriptions of the programs available for California residents:


California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program (CHDAP) Handbook Offers a deferred-payment junior loan of an amount up to the lesser of three percent (3%) of the purchase price or appraised value to assist with down payment and/or closing costs.

CHDAP Program Summary:

Balance indicated above excludes funded and current pipeline of CHDAP loans.
This is an approximate balance and will be updated the second week of each month.
Due to limitation of funding, reservations for CHDAP loans are on a first-come, first-served basis. CalHFA may receive additional funding in the future for this program, provided the State is in the position to sell the remainder of the bonds approved by the passage of Proposition 1C.

Mortgage Credit Certificate Tax Credit Program (MCC)

A federal credit which can reduce potential federal income tax liability, creating additional net spendable income which borrowers may use toward their monthly mortgage payment.  This MCC Tax Credit program may enable California first-time home buyers to convert a portion of their annual mortgage interest into a direct dollar for dollar tax credit on their U.S. individual income tax returns.

HUD – Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program may enable qualified first-time home buyers in CA to receive monthly assistance for homeownership expenses in lieu of monthly rent aid. Pursuant to Congressional authority, HUD has authorized states and Public Housing Authorities (PHA’s) to provide this assistance using funds available through the Section 8 rental voucher program.

Here is the contact information for the California Housing Finance Agency:

Sacramento Headquarters
500 Capitol Mall, Ste. 1400
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 877.922.5432

West Sacramento Office
1040 Riverside Pkwy, Ste. 110
West Sacramento, CA 95605
Phone: 800.669.1079

Los Angeles Office
100 Corporate Pointe, Ste. 250
Culver City, CA 90230
Phone: 310.342.5400

Federal First Time Home Buyer Grants

Besides the state programs, there are federal funds and grants available to first time home buyers in California through the Homes and Communities program of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. On their website you’ll find complete grant information, application forms, description of available funds, as well as many other helpful tools.

Other First Time Home Buyer Programs in California

In addition to the various home buyer programs described above, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides home buyer assistance and grants in every county throughout California. There are multiple programs designed specifically for people that meet certain requirements, such as grants for people with disabilities so they can continue to live independently at home. It would also be worthwhile to investigate the specific grant programs for California 1st time buyers.

Here is the contact information for the HUD office in California:

Los Angeles Field Office
611 West Sixth Street
Suite 801
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 894-8000
Fax: (213) 894-8110

There are also these local grant programs in California:

Alameda Down payment Assistance Program (DAP)(510) 749-5824
Anaheim Home Program (HOME) (714) 765-4340
Anaheim Police Residence Assistance Program (PRAP) (714) 765-4340
Anaheim Second Mortgage Assistance Program (SMAP) (714) 765-4340
Brentwood Police Officer Recruitment Incentive Program (BPOAP) (925) 516-5195
California Gold Taxable MRB Second Mortgage Loan Program (SML) (916) 444-2615
California School Facility Fee Down Payment Assistance Program (DPA) (916) 322-1353
Campbell Deferred Second Loan Program (DSLP) (408) 299-5142
Chico Mortgage Subsidy Program (MSP) (916) 895-4862
Coalinga Down payment Assistance Program (DAP) (559) 935-1533
Concord Program (FTHB) (925) 671-3325
Costa Mesa Homebuyer Assistance Program (HAP) (714) 754-5692
Culver City Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) (310) 253-5780
Del Norte/Humboldt Yurok Indian Housing Authority Down payment Assistance Gift (707) 482-1506
Dinuba Homebuyer Assistance Program (HAP) (559) 591-5900
Dixon Down Payment Assistance Program (DPA) (707) 678-7000
El Cajon 120%Homebuyer Program (FTHB) (619) 441-1768
El Cajon 80% First Time Homebuyers Program (FTHB) (619) 441-1768
El Monte Down Payment Assistance Program (DPAP) (626) 580-2070
Emeryville FTHP program for Moderate Income (510) 596-4316
Fairfield City-Wide In-fill Housing Silent Loan Program (FSLP-2nd) (707) 428-7457
Fairfield City-Wide In-Fill Housing Silent Loan Program (FSLP-3rd) (707) 428-7457
Fremont Adams Ave Home Project Second Mortgage (SM) (510) 494-4520
Fremont Programs (FTHB) (510) 494-4506
Fresno CalHome Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) (559) 262-4292
Fresno County Down payment Assistance Program (DAP) (559) 262-4292
Fresno County- Economic Opportunities Commission Refugee Individual Development Account (IDA) (559) 263-1065
Fresno Downpayment Assistance Program (DAP) (559) 498-4815
Grand Terrace Affordable Housing Program (AHP) (909) 825-3825
Hanford Home Sweet Home Program (Home) (559) 585-2587
Hawthorne Program (FTHP) (310) 970-7086
Hayward First Time Homebuyer Program (FHP) (510) 583-4244
Hesperia Down payment Assistance Program (DAP) (760) 947-1907
Imperial Program (FTHB) (760) 355-4373
La Quinta Home Purchase Program (HPP) (714) 541-4585
Lincoln Homebuyer Mortgage Program (800) 995-0431
Livermore Down Payment Assistance (DAP) (925) 373-5699
Livermore Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP) Ten Year Amortization Second Loan (925) 373-5699
Long Beach Housing Development Company Down payment Assistance Program (DAP) (562) 570-6949
Los Angeles County Home Ownership Program (HOP) (213) 890-7248
Los Angeles County Montebello Housing Development Corporation Calhome FTHB Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) (323) 722-3955
Madera County Homebuyer Assistance Program (HAP) (559) 675-7821
Manteca City Manteca Assistance Program (DAP) (209) 239-8427
Mendocino County Down Payment Assistance Program (DPAP) (707) 463-5462
Mendocino County Individual Development Empowerment Account Program (IDEA) (707) 462-0522
Mendota Program (FTHP) (559) 655-3291
Merced County First Time Homebuyer Program (FTHP) (209) 385-7654
Merced Grants Program (FTHB) (209) 385-6863
Modesto Down Payment Assistance Program (DPAP) (209) 577-5310
Monterey County Program (FTHB) (831) 786-1357
Monterey Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP) (831) 646-3728
Napa Loan Program (FTHB) (707) 257-9543
National City First-Time Homebuyer Program (FTHP) (619) 336-4250
Nevada County Down payment Assistance Program (DAP) (530) 265-1388
Norco Program (FTHB) (909) 270-5645
Oakland “Public Safety Officer/Teacher/Communications Dispatcher Down Payment Assistance Program” (DAP) (510) 238-3909
Oakland Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) (510) 238-3344
Oroville Program (FTHB) (530) 538-2495
Oroville Program (FTHB) (530) 538-2495
Oxnard Historical Enhancement & Revitalization of Oxnard (HERO) (805) 385-7400
Oxnard Resale Housing Conditional Matching Grant Program (GRANT) (805) 385-7400
Palmdale Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) (661) 267-5126
Pasadena Homeownership Opportunities Program (HOP) (626) 744-8316
Pasadena Neighborhood Housing Services Inc CalHome Program (FTHP) (626) 744-4141
Paso Robles CalHome Program (CalHome) (805) 237-3970
Placer County Assistance Program (FTHB) (530) 889-4246
Pomona Calhome Program (FTHB) (909) 620-3630
Porterville First Time Low Income Home Buyer Program (FTHB) (559) 782-7460
Rancho Cucamonga Program (909) 884-6891
Redding Down payment Assistance Program (DAP) (530) 225-4173
Redlands Program (FTHB) (909) 884-6891
Richmond In-Fill Homeowner Assistance Program (INFILL) (510) 307-8151
Rio Vista Program (FTHB) (707) 374-6451
Ripon Gap Down Payment Assistance Program (GAP) (209) 599-2108
Riverside CalHome Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) (909) 341-6511
Riverside County Individaul Development Account (IDA) (909) 955-4900
Rocklin Down Payment Assistance Program (FTHB) (800) 995-0431
Roseville First Time Homebuyer Program (FTHP) (916) 774-5446
Round Valley Indian Housing Homebuyer Assistance Program (HAP) (707) 983-6188
Sacramento CalHome Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) (916) 264-1522
Sacramento County and City Program (FTHP) (916) 264-1524
Sacramento County and City Homebuyers Assistance Program (HAP) (916) 264-1524
Sacramento County MCC Expanded Teacher Home Purchase Program (FTHB) (916) 264-1524
Sacramento County MCC Expanded Teacher Home Purchase Homebuyer Assistance Program (HAP) (916) 264-1524
Sacramento Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) (916) 264-1522
Salinas Down payment Assistance Program (408) 758-7334
San Diego County San Diego Neighborhood Housing Services CalHome Program (CalHome) (619) 282-6647
San Diego Down Payment Assistance Grant Program (DPAG) (619) 578-7491
San Diego Neighborhood Housing Services Cost Assistance Support for Homebuyers Program (CASH) (619) 282-6647
San Fernando Program (FTHP) (818) 898-1233
San Francisco Program (FTHB) (415) 252-3177
San Joaquin County GAP Loan Program (GAP) (209) 468-3157
San Jose Neighborhood Housing Services of Silicon Valley, “The Vernal Fund” Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) (408) 272-2878
San Jose Teachers Homebuyer Program (THP) (408) 277-8486
San Leandro First Time Homebuyer Program (FTHB) (510) 577-6002
San Marcos Down Payment Assistance Loan Program (DPAL) (760) 744-1050
San Mateo County Start Program 2nd Lien (650) 802-5033
San Mateo County StartPLUS 3rd Lien (650) 802-5033
San Mateo Countywide Home Investment Partnership Program (CHIP) (650) 522-7223
San Mateo Program (FTHB) (650) 522-7220
Sanger Program (FTHP) (559) 876-6329
Santa Clara County Deferred Closing Cost Program (DCCP) (408) 299-5142
Santa Clara County Second Loan Program for Teachers (SLPT) (408) 441-4260
Santa Cruz County Program (FTHB) (408) 454-2280
Seaside  Program (831) 899-6728
Shasta County Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP) (530) 245-6431
Simi Valley Closing Cost Grant Assistance (GRANT) (805) 583-6853
Simi Valley Assistance Program (FTHB) (805) 583-6853
Sonoma County Employee Second Mortgage Program (ESMP) (707) 565-7500
South Lake Tahoe Assistance Program (FTHB) (530) 542-6157
Stanislaus County Down Payment Assistance Program (DPA) (209) 525-6330
Stanislaus County Public Facilities Fee Deferral Program (PFF) (209) 523-6330
Tulare County Program (559) 733-6291
Turlock First Time Home Buyers Program (FTHB) (209) 668-5610
Ukiah Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP) (707) 463-5462
Upland Primary Assistance Loan Program (PAL) (909) 931-4113
Vacaville Down Payment Assistance Loan Program (DPAL) (707) 449-5687
Ventura Grants Program (HBAP) (805) 654-0038
Victorville Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) (760) 955-5032
Visalia Homebuyer Assistance Program (HAP) (559) 738-3460
Waterford First Time Home Buyer Assistance Program (DAP) (916) 725-1181
Watsonville Down payment Assistance Program (DAP) (831) 728-6014
Watsonville Program (FTHP) (831) 728-6014
Woodlake Grants Program (HAP) (209) 564-8055
Yuba City Assistance Program (FTHB) (530) 822-4697

You may also want to check out this video:

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About Jennifer Cribsly

I'm a former real estate broker who specialized in helping first time buyers be able to purchase a home. Now full time mom, part time real estate owner/investor.
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