The City of Long Beach launched a new website for its upcoming First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Program (Program), which will provide approximately 100 eligible families with up to $20,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance. The application process for qualified residents is expected to open in early 2023.
“This is an amazing opportunity for first-time homebuyers to invest in their future and plant roots in Long Beach,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We’re excited to provide assistance to help make the dream of homeownership a reality for these families.”
Facilitated by the Development Services Department, the Program, which is a grant and not a loan or mortgage service, will assist low- and moderate-income families traditionally underrepresented in homeownership with purchasing their first home and building multi-generational wealth. Applicants will need to be first-time homebuyers presently residing within a federal Community Development Block Grant designated census tract in Long Beach, among other requirements. More program details, including eligibility information, are available on the Program website at longbeach.gov/lbhomegrant.
Long Beach residents interested in participating in the grant program or learning more are encouraged to sign-up to receive program updates and further details when available. Residents who sign-up will also receive information regarding a series of orientation sessions that the Development Services Department will be hosting over the coming months to assist individuals with the application process.
The Long Beach City Council direction to create and fund a Down Payment Assistance Program was included in the Everyone In Economic Inclusion Implementation Plan, proposed by Vice Mayor Rex Richardson and cosponsored by former Councilmember Lena Gonzalez and current Fifth District Councilwoman Stacy Mungo Flanigan and Seventh District Councilman Robert Uranga, and approved by the full City Council in June 2019. Enhanced funding for the proposed program was included in the City’s Recovery Plan via a motion from Vice Mayor Richardson in March 2021.
“Long Beach is proud to help support pathways to homeownership for local families,” said Vice Mayor Rex Richardson. “By investing in down payment assistance, we are ensuring that our housing programs meet the needs of our diverse community, making sure residents can achieve the dream of homeownership.”
In March 2022, the City issued a request for proposals for highly-experienced vendors to administer and implement the Program. Following a competitive selection process, the City selected HPP CARES CDE as the vendor to facilitate the Program, including conducting applicant outreach and screening and other services. Since 2009, HPP CARES CDE has been devoted to housing and financial stability services for low- and moderate-income and historically underserved communities.
“We are incredibly excited to support eligible first-time homebuyers with up to $20,000 in grant assistance,” said Housing and Neighborhood Services Bureau Manager Patrick Ure. “This program helps ensure greater equity in the city by eliminating social and economic disparities in our most impacted communities.”
This program is made possible by the Long Beach Recovery Act, a plan to fund economic and public health initiatives for Long Beach residents, workers and businesses critically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $5 million has been allocated to support housing assistance, which includes $3 million for the funding and administrative costs associated with facilitating this program and $2 million for additional housing programs. Additional information about the Long Beach Recovery Act is available at longbeach.gov/recovery.
The First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Program also aligns with Goal 4 of Long Beach’s Racial and Reconciliation Initiative to explore funding of down-payment assistance programs, silent second mortgage programs, and other opportunities to increase homeownership.