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County of Santa Clara Approves $25 million in First-time Homebuyer Assistance

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA— The County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors unanimously approved $25 million of 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond funds (Measure A) to finance a new, first-time homebuyer down payment loan program. Through a partnership between the County’s Office of Supportive Housing and Housing Trust Silicon Valley (that will administer the program) the funds will assist approximately 250 households over the first five years of the program by providing deferred loans for down payments of up to 17% of a home’s purchase price.

In November 2016, Santa Clara County voters approved Measure A, a $950 million affordable housing general obligation bond. A portion of those assets were earmarked to fund a loan program for first-time homebuyers with incomes not exceeding 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI).

“As part of our overall strategy to expand affordable housing options in the county, this loan program gives us the opportunity to offer many first-time home buyers a financially viable way to fulfill their dream of homeownership,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Mike Wasserman, Vice Chair of the Board’s Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee.

As the number of loan assistance programs have declined over the past eight years, many potential first-time homebuyers have either postponed purchasing a home or chosen to relocate to find more affordable housing options.

“Affordable housing has been one of Santa Clara County’s biggest challenges for several years now, and it seems to get worse every month. The first-time homebuyer assistance program will give many residents an opportunity that would otherwise be out of reach. Our people are Santa Clara County’s most valuable asset, and this program will help ensure that the County remains the vibrant, welcoming place to live that we all love,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Ken Yeager.

The County’s down payment loan program does not require monthly principal or interest payments. Borrowers will repay the principal loan amount plus a share of the appreciation based on the percentage of the loan borrowed. Payment is deferred until the Maturity Date is reached, sale of the home, or refinance of the first mortgage.

“Housing Trust is a natural fit to administer the County’s program,” said Kevin Zwick, CEO of Housing Trust Silicon Valley. “We have over 18 years of lending experience to over 2,500 homebuyers. We’re glad to be in a position to assist the County of Santa Clara with this Measure A initiative.”

For information regarding the county-wide first-time homebuyer program, call Housing Trust Silicon Valley at (408) 436-3450, ext. 234.

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