California HFA (Housing Finance Agency) Programs

CalHFA offers a variety of loan programs to help you  purchase your first home.


“First” mortgage loans are home loans with a 30-year term and an interest  rate that remains fixed throughout the entire 30 years. This means that the  interest rate will never change during the course of your loan, so you know  what to expect from your first payment until you sell, refinance or pay off  your loan in full.

Government Loan Programs

CalHFA FHA (Targeted Areas) Loan Program   This FHA first mortgage is insured/guaranteed by FHA to enhance affordability and homeownership opportunities in the form of a 30-year, fixed rate loan. This loan is available in Federally Designated Targeted Areas only.


The money you put “down” or the down payment on your home loan can be one of the largest hurdles for many first-time homebuyers. That’s why CalHFA offers several options for down payment and closing cost assistance. This type of assistance is often called a second or subordinate loan. CalHFA’s subordinate loans are “silent seconds”, meaning payments on this loan are deferred so you do not have to make a payment on this assistance until your home is sold, refinanced or paid in full. This helps to keep your monthly mortgage payment affordable.

California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program (CHDAP)  Offers a deferred-payment subordinate loan in the amount of (3%) of the purchase price or appraised value, which ever is less to be used for down payment and/or closing costs.


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 first-time homebuyers 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.

Affordable Housing Partnership Program (AHPP)  A joint effort by CalHFA and cities, counties, redevelopment agencies and housing authorities whereby assistance from a locality is utilized by the first-time homebuyer to help them with down payment and/or closing costs.

Individual Development Accounts  IDA’s are special savings accounts designed to assist low income borrowers on their path toward ownership of a long-term asset, such as a home, through matched contributions by nonprofit organizations and eligible banks.  These organizations may offer up to a 3:1 savings match (i.e., if you save $1,000, you will receive an additional $3,000).  To find an organization that offers an IDA program please follow the link above, or refer to our Affordable Housing Partnership Program (AHPP) list and look for “IDA” or “AHP/IDEA/WISH” Programs.

HUD – Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program may enable qualified first-time          homebuyers 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.

The PHA’s may choose to participate in offering the Section 8 for homeownership but are not required to do so. Under the Program at least 30% of the eligible homebuyers’ income will go to pay the homeownership expenses with Section 8 covering the remainder.