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CA REALTORS® provide more funding for closing cost grants to underserved first-time homebuyers

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For release:
October 9, 2023  

California REALTORS
® provide additional funding for closing cost grants to underserved first-time homebuyers

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 9) – In a continuing effort to address California’s growing housing affordability crisis and racial homeownership divide, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®(C.A.R.) Housing Affordability Fund (HAF) will provide another $500,000 in closing cost assistance for eligible first-time California homebuyers from an underserved community, C.A.R. announced today.

The additional amount brings the total to $2 million in grants for the Pathway to Homeownership grant program in support of the Association’s Fair Housing and Diversity efforts. Since 2022, C.A.R.’s Housing Affordability Fund’s Pathway to Homeownership Closing Cost Assistance grant program has provided closing cost grants totaling $1.5 million for 156 first-time home buyer families from an underserved community throughout California.

Visit C.A.R.’s Housing Affordability Fund website to apply. 

C.A.R.’s HAF Pathway to Homeownership Closing Cost Assistance Grant Program helps bridge the housing affordability gap for first-time homebuyers* who are members of an underserved community** by providing up to $10,000 in closing cost assistance. Each grant is provided to low- to-moderate income, first-time homebuyers who use the services of a California REALTOR®.

The nonprofit housing organization Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services (NPHS), along with U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved housing counselors, is partnering with C.A.R.’s Housing Affordability Fund to administer grants throughout all 58 California counties under C.A.R.’s Closing Cost Assistance Grant Program.

“Countless studies have found that homeownership is critical to building generational wealth and economic security for working families,” said C.A.R. President Jennifer Branchini. “California REALTORS® are pleased to expand ownership housing opportunities for more Californians so they have an opportunity to attain the economic and societal benefits that homeownership provides.”

C.A.R. released a report earlier this year finding that less than half of Black and Hispanic/Latino households (both at 12 percent) earned the minimum income needed to purchase a home as compared to whites (26 percent), illustrating the homeownership gap and wealth disparity for people of color, women, people with disabilities, indigenous people and members of the LGBTQ community. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau’s residential vacancies and homeownership statistics, the second quarter 2023 overall national homeownership rate was 66 percent, 75 percent for whites, 62 percent for Asians, 49 percent for Hispanics/Latinos and 46 percent for Blacks.

“Affordable homeownership hangs in the balance for too many. We must commit to tipping the scales, addressing this pressing challenge, and unlocking the doors to homes that families can call their own,” stated Clemente Mojica, NPHS CEO. “The Closing Cost Assistance Grant is pivotal in aiding historically underserved families to secure affordable and sustainable homeownership. We invite social impact investors to join us as we continue to break down barriers and build bridges toward equitable homeownership opportunities for all.”

Potential social impact investors can email [email protected].

Program Criteria:

  • Recipient must be a First-Time Homebuyer. “First-Time Homebuyer*” means an individual (and all co-buyers on the property purchase contract, if any) who has had no ownership interest in any real property in any location during the last three (3) years.
  • Recipient (one individual if two or more will be purchasing together) must be a member of an Underserved Community. “Underserved Community**” includes: (i) people of color; (ii) persons with disabilities 1(physical, cognitive, or mental); or (iii) lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons.  
  • The property being purchased by Recipient must be a single-family residence (including a manufactured home or mobile home if affixed to property, a single-family residential unit in a condominium, cooperative or planned unit development, or a single-family residential one to four (1-4) unit property) in one of 58 Counties within California.
  • The purchased property must not have an affordable housing deed restriction that limits Recipient’s ownership rights in the property’s equity or creates shared equity homeownership that prevents the public resale of the property by Recipient.
  • Recipient’s income must be no more than 120% of the Area Median Income (“AMI”) as set forth by the California Department of Housing Community Development.
  • Recipient must be represented by a member of the California Association of REALTORS® in the transaction.
  • Recipient must certify they intend to move into the property within 60 days of close of escrow and occupy the property as their principal residence for at least three (3) years.
  • To purchase the property, Recipient must have used financing consistent with the National Association of REALTORS® Responsible Lending Criteria (currently found here), which prevents abusive lending and supports responsible lending principles. Recipient must not have paid all-cash for the purchase. Exceptions may be allowed subject to Grantor’s prior written approval if Recipient used any alternative financing.
  • Recipient must be left with no more than $20K in savings after the purchase.

C.A.R. established its Housing Affordability Fund (HAF) in November 2002 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) to address California’s growing housing affordability crisis.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with more than 200,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

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