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First-time homebuyer loan assistance program to resume in Santa Barbara County

Posted at 4:04 PM, Apr 29, 2022

The City of Santa Maria and the Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County are teaming up to lend a hand to lower-income earners who are in search of their first home.

Thanks to state grants, they are reviving the Workforce Homebuyer Payment Assistance Program, an effort that first began back in 2012. The program will now provide a 30-year deferred down payment loan of up to $100,000 for low-income, first-time homebuyers.

"People that haven't gone through the process of buying a home sometimes don't realize there's extra costs," says President and CEO of Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County, Jennifer McGovern. She says it is important that this program will once again be offered, especially given the current housing crisis seen across the Central Coast.

McGovern says the program will likely have funding to continue offering loans throughout the coming year, but her sights are set on keeping this housing assistance program around for the long haul.

She says, "We've been building the program to be an ongoing countywide program to expand home ownership."

Santa Maria homeowner Mauricio Pabon says he is glad to see loan assistance programs like these being offered once again, but that he wishes it was around back when he buying a home three years ago.

"Seems like everything right now is real expensive," reflects Pabon. "Right now, trying to get your own place is almost impossible."

McGovern says in total, the program has helped get 68 families and individuals into home ownership.

If you're curious to know if you qualify for this low-income loan program, a requirement scale is provided here.