New Program Provides Down Payment Assistance for First-time Homebuyers in Santa Clara County

Photo Credit: Unsplash
Called Empower Homebuyers SCC, program is funded through the 2016 Measure A
Affordable Housing Bond

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.—The Housing Trust Silicon Valley and County of Santa Clara are launching Empower Homebuyers SCC, a new down payment assistance program for first-time homebuyers in Santa Clara County. Funded through the 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond and administered by the Housing Trust, Empower Homebuyers SCC is expected to assist approximately 250 households over the first five years.

Residents are invited to attend Supervisor Cindy Chavez’s free Townhall to learn about how to participate in Empower Homebuyers SCC and what the qualifications are for the first-time homebuyer program:

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 6-7 p.m., County Government Center Board Chambers, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose. Register at:

“This is a big step for our community’s teachers, nurses, and nonprofit workers – the residents who make up the foundation of Santa Clara County,” said Supervisor Cindy Chavez, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. “Empower Homebuyers SCC is a successful effort made possible by the voter-approved Measure A Affordable Housing Bond in 2016.”

Down payment assistance will be provided to homebuyers through a new 30-year deferred shared appreciation loan that requires no monthly payments from the homebuyer. Loan payment, principal plus a share of the home’s appreciation, is only due on the maturity date, if the loan is refinanced, or if the borrower decides to sell or move out of the home.

“Empower Homebuyers puts our Measure A bond funds to work for our workforce and is a way to help the ‘missing middle’ who have been cut off from owning because of the down payment obstacle,” said Supervisor Joe Simitian, President of the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. “This program helps put homeownership in reach for teachers, healthcare professionals, food service workers, and many more.”

Empower Homebuyers is open to first-time homebuyers, with incomes that do not exceed 120% of the Area Median Income, who wish to purchase a primary residence in Santa Clara County and have a household income within the designated limits, set by household size.  At the start of the program, limits begin at $105,200 for a single-person household and increase to $150,250 for a family of four. Borrowers are required to make a minimum contribution of 3% of the purchase price of the home and the maximum purchase price is $800,000. More information and application instructions can be found at

“We’re glad to support the County of Santa Clara with this important program,” said Adria Quinones-Masur, Director of Homebuyer Programs at Housing Trust. “We’ve had a lot of success with our Homebuyer Empowerment Loan Program and know the demand for down payment assistance is high. My team is looking forward to helping first-time homebuyers in Santa Clara County realize their dream of home ownership.”

Supervisor Cindy Chavez’s Empower Homebuyers SCC Townhall Meeting

Join Supervisor Cindy Chavez on Nov. 28 to learn about Empower Homebuyers SCC for middle-income households. The program helps homebuyers with up to 17% down payment assistance. At the Townhall, find out how to participate in the program and what the qualifications are to apply. 

Register at or RSVP to Kathy Truong, (408) 299-5025 or 

Townhall Agenda:

6:00 p.m. Welcome by Supervisor Cindy Chavez

6:05 p.m. Presentation by the Housing Trust and Office of Supportive Housing

6:25 p.m. Audience Q&A

7:00 p.m. End 

Location: County Government Center Board Chambers, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose. 

Parking and Transportation:

Public transit information: Please note, this location is serviced by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail and bus lines 61, 62, 66 and 181. Parking is available at the Civic Center Parking Garage, 171 W. Hedding St.

Parking Map


Empower Homebuyers SCC is a program of the County of Santa Clara administered by Housing Trust Silicon Valley. It provides down payment assistance loans to first-time homebuyers in the county and is funded by the 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond. The program is aimed at assisting low to moderate income county residents – including employees at nonprofit organizations, teachers, healthcare professionals, County employees and others.