San Francisco Doubling Loan Amount For First-Time Home Buyers

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is doubling the amount the city and county is willing to lend to first-time home-buyers.

Lee announced the increase to San Francisco’s Down Payment Assistance Loan Program (DALP) Monday. DALP offers deferred-payment loans that require no repayment for 40 years, or at the re-sale of the unit. Starting this week, individual loans of up to $200,000 will be available to qualified buyers, city officials announced.

“This down payment assistance program has assisted many working families in our City and will continue to support our diverse workforce that is so critical to our economy,” Lee said in a press release.

Access to the loan fund is limited. The fund currently has $2 million available for 2014, with an additional $1 million for first responders.

The money comes from a city-run loan pool launched 16 years ago. The change from a $100,000 maximum was made to allow more lower and middle-income families to compete as the cost of city housing skyrockets.

The median home price in San Francisco is now more than $900,000. Lee recently told KCBS that affordable housing is now the city’s most pressing need.

“We have been successful in attracting jobs…so we’re a hot market,” Lee said during a KCBS In-Depth interview. “Our lack of space, our decades of not building, it has all accumulated at this time…I’ve got to build enough housing for them to stay here.”

Lee has said he hopes to bring 30,000 housing units to the area in the near future.

“The market rate housing will take care of itself,” said Lee, who told Phil Matier he is focused on affordability. “They are being constructed as we speak…the middle class needs that, and there is a good market for it.”

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