Financial Assistance for Homebuyers in California

The San Diego Home Consortium offers individuals aid in purchasing their new home, with the Homebuyer Downpayment & Closing Cost Assistance (DCCA), or CalHome Program. CalHome provides first-time homebuyers with assistance funds that can be put toward the hefty, upfront costs associated with mortgage transactions.

Available Assistance
The CalHome Program provides applicants up to 17 percent of the total property price for down payment assistance, and 4 percent (up to $10,000) in closing costs assistance. These funds come in the form of a loan with 3 percent simple interest per year, accrued annually. No monthly payments are required on this loan, as it is deferred until the home is refinanced (not including an FHA Streamline Refinance), sold, paid off, or no longer serving as the borrower’s primary residence. The loan repayment will be one payment of the original principle loan amount plus any accrued interest.

Eligibility Requirements
The CalHome Program is only available to first-time homebuyers; those who have owned a home or been on the title for one within the previous three years cannot qualify for assistance. All applicants must have an annual gross household income at or under 80 percent of San Diego County’s area median income, as determined by HUD. They must also be able to contribute at least three percent of the purchase price from their own cash assets, and receive the maximum first mortgage loan for which they qualify. The program’s occupancy ratio mandates that there be no more than two people per living space, which includes bedrooms, living room, family room, den/study.

Homebuyer Education
Borrowers are also required to complete a HUD/CalHome-approved homebuyer education class to qualify for the program.

Property Requirements
Under the CalHome Program, any property purchased must serve as the borrower’s primary residence. This home must be located within the CalHome jurisdictional boundaries, which include unincorporated areas of the County of San Diego and the cities of: Carlsbad, Coronado, Del Mar, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and Vista.

The property types eligible are a new or resale single-family detached units, condominiums, townhouses or a manufactured homes on a permanent foundation. Applicants must also make sure that their home does not exceed the program’s maximum purchase prices: $383,800 for new or existing properties, and $517,750 for attached townhomes or a condominiums and $517,750 for a single-family residence (subject to periodic adjustments). 

The home being purchased must be deemed free from any health and safety defects and lead-based paint hazards, via a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection. Proof of initial building permit issuance must be provided. Applicants must also obtain flood insurance if the property is located in a flood plain.spacer

Down payment assistance programs and/or grants were researched by the team at Please note that all programs listed on this website may involve a second mortgage with payments that are forgiven, deferred, or subsidized in some manner until resale of the mortgaged property.’s compilation is not a complete list, but it can serve as a starting point in your search for the down payment assistance program or grant for your situation. It is up to the consumer to contact these entities and find out the specifics of each program.