California Down Payment and Homeownership Assistance


Every state has down payment or homeownership assistance programs; some states have both. The programs are designed to provide affordable housing opportunities to homebuyers who might not ordinarily be able to afford a house.

Each program can have their own income and eligibility requirements but primarily the programs are available for first-time homebuyers or low-income families.

Keep in mind if you had no ownership in a principal residence in the previous 3 years, you are also considered a first-time homebuyer even if you owned a home prior to that 3-year period.

The programs are not usually administered directly through the State. Instead, they are nonprofit based and handled through a third party agency. The list below will start you on your search but be sure to confirm the program is currently available.

(Source: HUD.gov)

Statewide and Regional Programs

California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) – homebuyer programs, including downpayment and closing cost assistance, and foreclosure prevention resources
California Affiliates of Habitat for Humanity – through volunteer labor, builds and rehabilitates houses for families in need
U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing – homebuyer programs in rural communities
State of California Housing and Community Development
HUD approved housing counseling agencies
Community contacts – find out if your community offers homeownership assistance
CalVet Home Loans – for Veterans to buy a home in California
Southern California Home Financing Authority (SCHFA) – homebuyer programs, including down payment and closing cost assistance, and refinancing of existing adjustable rate mortgage loans

By City

City of Alameda – first-time homebuyer programs
City of Bakerfield – Economic and Community Development Programs
City of Belmont – homebuyer assistance program
City of Calexico – First Time Home Buyer Help
City of Carlsbad – Housing and Redevelopment Department
City of Chowchilla – Affordable Housing Programs
City of Chula Vista – Community Development Department / Homeownership programs
City of Clovis – Homebuyer and repair programs
City of Corcoran – First Time Home Buyer Program
City of El Cajon – homebuyer assistance and first-time homebuyer programs
City of El Centro – Buyer’s Guide – First Time Home Buyer Program
City of Encinitas – First-time Homebuyer Assistance
City of Escondido – Housing Division / First Time Home Buyer Programs
City of Fresno – Housing and Community Development Division Home Buyer Assistance Program
City of La Mesa – Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program
City of Menlo Park – first-time homebuyer loan program
City of Modesto
City of National City – Community Development Commission / First-time Homebuyers
City of Oceanside – Home Buyer Program
City of Pittsburg – down payment assistance program
City of Porterville – Housing Programs
City of Redding – down payment assistance program
City of Richmond – affordable housing programs
City of Riverside – affordable housing programs

City of Rosemead – Down Payment Assistance Program
City of Santee – First Time Home Buyer Program
City of San Diego – housing commission first-time homebuyer programs
City of San Pablo – first-time homebuyer program
City of Shasta Lake – down payment assistance
City of Sonora – homebuyers assistance program
City of Sunnyvale – homebuyer assistance programs
City of Tulare – Housing Programs
City of Turlock – Housing Program Services
City of Vallejo – homebuyer assistance programs
City of Victorville – Mortgage Assistance Program
City of Vista – Redevelopment and Housing
Orange County Affordable Homeownership programs – by city

By County

Alameda County
Alpine County – (916) 324-3133

Amador County
Butte – (530) 895-4474
Colusa County – (530) 934-6510
El Dorado Down Payment Assistance Program – (530) 642-7300

Fresno County
Fresno County Housing Programs

Imperial County

Kern County
Kern County – housing, development and rehabilitation opportunities
Self-Help Enterprises – local homebuyer programs

Kings County
Kings County – first-time buyers and housing rehabilitation programs
Self-Help Enterprises – local homebuyer programs

Merced County
Merced County – first-time buyers and housing rehabilitation programs
Self-Help Enterprises – local homebuyer programs

Modoc County – (530) 938-4115

Monterey County – first-time homebuyer down payment assistance programs

Placer County – first-time homebuyer program (530) 745-3150

Plumas County – (530) 283-2466

Riverside County – homeownership opportunities for first time, low-, and very low-income buyers

Sacramento County – homebuyer programs
California Housing Finance Agency – (800) 789-2432
National Homebuying Fund DP Asst. (866) NHF-4YOU
Sacramento Housing & Redevelopment Agency – (916) 264-1500
Sacramento Neighborhood Housing Service – (916) 452-5361

San Bernardino County – housing development homeownership assistance program

San Diego County
San Diego County – home Purchasing Assistance
San Diego County – supplemental Information Guide in English

San Francisco County
San Francisco Bay Area Homebuyer Programs
Mayor’s Office of Housing
City of Oakland Housing and Community Development 

San Joaquin County Down Payment Assistance Program – (209) 460-4503

San Mateo County

Shasta County Down Payment Assistance Program – (530) 225-5160

Sierra County – (916) 324-3133

Stanislaus County

Sutter County Down Payment Assistance Program – (530) 671-0220 ext.125

Trinity County – (530) 934-6510

Tulare County

Tulare County – housing programs
Self-Help Enterprises – local homebuyer programs

Tuolumne County Silent Second Loan Program – (209) 533-5633

Yolo County – (530) 662-5428

Yuba County – first-time homebuyer programs.