Good to Know

State program offers down payment help for teachers

California educators, bus drivers to teachers, looking to buy their first home could get a helping hand from CalHFA loan program.

The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), the state agency for low- to moderate-income residents, is encouraging more employees in the public school system to become first-time homeowners.

The agency’s new School Teacher and Employee Assistance Program has replaced the Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program. The program offers down payment assistance, in the form of a loan paid back down the road, to those connected to education in the state school system.

Teachers, administrators, counselors, bus drivers, cafeteria employees, janitors and anyone else working in the kindergarten through high school public school system can apply for the School Teacher and Employee Assistance Program. The program includes employees in public charter schools, school district offices and county continuation schools.

CalHFA program helps educators, from bus drivers to teachers, buy their first home with down payment assistance. Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Under the program, CalHFA allows educators down payment assistance as much as 4% of the sales price or appraised value of a home, whichever is less. For example, educators could receive up to $16,000 for a $400,000 home.

Of course, there are some program requirements, including:

  • Be a first-time homebuyer. Basically, you must not have owned or occupied their own home within the past three years.
  • Occupy the home as a primary residence.
  • Homebuyers must complete homebuyer education counseling and obtain a certificate of completion through an eligible homebuyer counseling organization.
  • Meet CalHFA income limit requirements, which range from $128,500 in rural counties to more than $228,000 in San Francisco.
  • Be currently employed at a public school or district in the state.

Additional information, including how to apply, is available here.

Feature photo of a classroom by Africa Stock/Shutterstock

Ron Trujillo

Longtime business journalist-turned-public relations executive who enjoys reporting on residential real estate in his spare time. He can be reached at