The Santa Barbara County Housing Trust Fund recently announced that it has relaunched its North County Workforce Home Buyer Program to provide 30-year deferred payment loans to help first-time low-income buyers to put down payments on local homes.
The Housing Trust Fund previously had a North County program – which was actually its first program – from 2012 to 2014 which funded 28 loans.
Jennifer McGovern, president and chief executive of the Housing Trust Fund, said of the 28 loans made under the original scheme, 18 have already been repaid.
Lack of state funding for housing and community development forced the North County program to be halted, but a renewal of state funding is allowing the Housing Trust Fund to bring the program back this month.
“With the renewal of the State [Housing and Community Development] funding for the CalHome program, HTF was able to competitively apply and receive a $1.76 million grant,” McGovern said in a press release announcing the program’s relaunch. “This grant was combined with a $445,000 grant from Santa Barbara County to allow HTF to fund 20 or more loans up to $100,000 for first-time home buyers.”
With a combined total of $2.2 million, the North County Workforce Homebuyer Program offers 30-year deferred payment loans of up to 20% of the purchase price of the home or a maximum loan of $100,000 for homebuyers. low-income households. The funds can be used for down payment and closing costs, and have an accrued simple annual interest rate of 3% per annum.
The program allows applicants to buy homes anywhere in Santa Barbara County, but it focuses primarily on northern Santa Barbara County, “where home prices are more affordable.”
To be eligible for the loan, applicants must either be residents of Santa Barbara County, work in the county, be a first-time homebuyer – which the Housing Trust Fund defines as not having owned a primary residence in past three years – and be a low-income household whose total income is up to 80% of the region’s median income.
Applicants must also accept proof of income, complete a homebuyer training course, be pre-approved for a 30-year first mortgage with one of the Housing Trust Fund’s lending partners, and contribute from 3% to 3.5% in cash on the purchase of the house. .
“It’s obviously a tough market right now, so hopefully that will make a difference in getting people into their first homes,” McGovern said. “This is a great opportunity to increase home ownership and household wealth.
McGovern added that the community partners the Housing Trust Fund works with are what make loan programs work.
“We have great partners,” McGovern said. “That’s really how this program works.”
For example, the program partners with People’s Self-Help Housing for the Homebuyer Education Course, and the City of Santa Barbara Housing Authority conducts income certification, while the Housing Trust Fund also partners with several local premier mortgage lenders.
“We help bridge the financial gap between the cost of housing and what people can afford. … The program removes financial barriers to the dream of homeownership by lowering the costs of buying and owning a home,” McGovern said in the statement. “The program enables skilled worker families to purchase a home that provides a stable residence that strengthens the family and the neighborhood.”
Other homebuyer assistance loan programs offered by the Housing Trust Fund include the South Coast Workforce Homebuyer Program, which offers low-cost, interest-only loans of up to $125,000 to help low-income households. to upper middle to buy a South Coast. home – and a workforce homeownership program for the town of Carpinteria.
More information about the Santa Barbara County workforce homeownership programs, as well as eligibility for each program, can be found on the Housing Trust Fund website.