Senate Speaker Tem Toni Atkins revealed Wednesday that her California Dream for All program will lend down payment funds to help first-time home buyers.
Details of the plan were released ahead of a hearing before a state Senate budget committee in Sacramento.
The program would draw on public funds to provide first-time home buyers with an interest-free loan of 17% of the purchase price. The money will need to be repaid when the home is refinanced or sold.
“The California Dream for All program will give more people the opportunity to break free from the rental cycle, become the first members of their family to own a home, and allow more people to put their children and grandchildren on the path to success,” said Atkins, who represents Coastal San Diego County. “It has the ability to change people’s lives.”
She said she was able to buy a 950 square foot home in her 30s, but with rapidly rising home prices, “homeownership remains out of reach for far too many California families.”
The program could potentially cut mortgage costs by a third, she said, saving first-time buyers an average of $1,000 a month in payments.
“For several years, the Legislature has made progress on laws that help produce housing,” Atkins said. “The California Dream for All program is the next step in addressing affordability and helping families, especially first-generation homebuyers and those in communities of color who have faced systemic barriers to homeownership. property, to create generational wealth.”
Funding for the program has been estimated at $1 billion per year over a 10-year period.
The California Association of Realtors hailed the plan, saying homeownership is key to building stronger communities across the state.
“Many Californians can afford a monthly payment, but need help with the down payment and closing costs,” helps association president Otto Catrina. “We are pleased to support a plan that provides an opportunity for financial security and housing stability so that all Californians can realize the economic and societal benefits of homeownership.”