Fresno remains one of the most affordable areas of the state to buy a home while residents in other parts of California are feeling the housing squeeze as home prices and rent skyrocket out of reach.
The California Housing Finance Agency is trying to help more Californians buy homes. Under the agency’s Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program, public school employees could qualify for thousands of dollars in down payment assistance to buy their first home.
In Fresno, Kern and Imperial counties, which are considered non high-cost areas, school employees could receive up to $7,500 or 3.5 percent of the sales price or appraised value of a home, whichever is greater. Those living in high-cost areas such as the Bay Area and Southern California could qualify for up to $15,000.
“Unfortunately, few teachers, especially those at the beginning of their careers, can afford to buy a home in the state,” said executive director Tia Boatman Patterson. “The Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program helps with the down payment and opens the door for more teachers to become homeowners.”
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Teachers, administrators, and support staff in K-12 schools such as aides, bus drivers, food service workers and janitors are eligible but must meet county income limits for the program. The down payment assistance is in the form of a junior loan. Homeowners are not required to pay back the loan until the house is refinanced or sold or the mortgage is paid off.