Bay Area Residents Find Housing More Affordable

Bay Area Residents Find Housing More Affordable

Business Editors/Real Estate Writers

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 17, 2001

As sky-rocketing housing demands drive Bay Area home prices out of the reach of many working people, the California Housing Finance Agency today announced its first reservation under a pilot program designed to make housing more affordable for some area residents. The High Cost Area Program (HiCAP) targets first-time homebuyers San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties – three of the nation’s least affordable housing markets.

Average purchase price in the three-county area is more than $500,000. CHFA’s HiCAP program provides affordable financing to eligible first-time homebuyers who otherwise would not be able to purchase a home in the designated high cost housing areas.

Upon receiving word of the first reservation, CHFA Executive Director Theresa Parker said “By combining CHFA’s HiCAP loans with locally provided down payment assistance programs, housing will be made more affordable. Our first reservation is proof of that. We are looking forward to helping many more Bay Area families realize their homeownership dreams.”

The HiCAP consists of a below-market interest rate CHFA first loan, and a $25,000 down payment assistance second loan. The second is a 3-year, 3% simple interest rate, deferred payment loan. Borrowers must be first-time homebuyers who do not exceed CHFA low or moderate income limits. The moderate income limit in San Francisco and San Mateo counties is $92,115 for a family of three or more, and $100,395 in Santa Clara County. These homebuyers may be able to qualify for CHFA financing in the range of $325,000 to $400,000. Purchase prices depend upon interest rates, the homebuyer’s ability to qualify, and cash or other assistance available for down payment.

CHFA’s first HiCAP reservation is on a property located in San Jose. Under the pilot program, the Agency expects to provide more than $122 million of CHFA first loans and $9.5 million in down payment assistance second loans for an estimated 380 area families.

State legislation created CHFA in 1975 as California’s statewide affordable housing bank. Its mission is to finance below market rate loans to create safe, decent and affordable rental housing and to assist first-time homebuyers in achieving the dream of homeownership. Since its inception CHFA has issued over $16 billion in bonds, financed affordable homeownership opportunities for over 100,000 families and created or preserved 26,000 affordable multifamily rental units in California. In addition, the Agency has provided $1.5 billion of mortgage insurance to more than 14,000 higher risk first-time home borrowers.

For additional information on CHFA’s HiCAP Program, contact Gregory Carter at (916) 324-3315, or go to

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