Affordable Housing Funding Grows
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Court Orders Governor Brown to Refund Housing Money
A California Court of Appeal recently ordered Governor Brown to send $331 million back to the special fund from which it was diverted in 2012. The original fund was created to help with foreclosure assistance, counseling, and education. California had received $410 million as its share of a national settlement with mortgage servicers. The settlement money was intended to help homeowners who endured the foreclosure crisis in California.
However, the Legislature appropriated the money to housing-related state agencies to cover deficits. California can appeal to the State Supreme Court, but in the meantime, the opinion of the court of appeal makes it clear that the funds were diverted in contravention of the purposes for which the special fund was established.
Federal Home Loan Bank Awards Affordable Housing Grants
The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco recently awarded $65.9 million in Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grants to 70 projects that will construct or rehabilitate 6,067 units of housing affordable for lower-income families and individuals.
In California, Los Angeles ($10.5 million), San Francisco ($7 million), million) and Oakland ($2.27 million) are among the AHP grant locations. According to the FHLB of San Francisco, these grants will help provide housing for homeless veterans and their families, LGBT seniors, at-risk homeless and youths, and people with developmental disabilities, mental illness, or long-term chronic illnesses.
The 2018 AHP grants were awarded through 29 FHLB of San Francisco member financial institutions working in partnership with community-based housing sponsors or developers to apply for funding through a competitive application process. Since 1990, the FHLB of San Francisco’s AHP has provided more than $1 billion in grants, helping to produce over 131,000 affordable housing units.
CalHFA Financing Hits Record High for First Time Homebuyers
With California home prices continuing to increase, the California Housing Finance Agency has increased its support for first time homebuyers. The close of Fiscal Year 2017-18 saw the Agency help finance over $2 billion in first mortgages, a historical high for CalHFA, which allowed more than 7,400 first-time homebuyers to purchase a home.
In addition to first mortgage loans, CalHFA also offers down payment and closing cost assistance programs, which are not required to be paid back until the house is paid off, sold or refinanced. Throughout the Fiscal Year, CalHFA has significantly expanded its product offerings and terms to provide more financing solutions and to reach a more inclusive homebuyer demographic. New product solutions include manufactured housing, leaseholds, land trusts, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and a Limited 203K program. Adjusted eligibility requirements provide special assistance to Veterans and disaster victims and will soon help homebuyers on Indian land.