GSFA Marks a Milestone Year, Awards Gifts of over $45 Million in 2016
In 2016, GSFA provided over $45 million in down payment assistance gifts to California homebuyers. The gifts aided more than 4,600 individuals and families to purchase a home this past year. This marks the largest volume of down payment gift funds provided by GSFA in one year since the entity was formed 24 years ago.
GSFA works closely with mortgage originators, insurance providers, government sponsored entities and other housing partners to bring affordable lending products to low and moderate income homebuyers throughout the state. Since its formation in 1993, GSFA has provided more than $142 million in down payment assistance gifts, and helped over 67,200 individuals and families purchase homes in California.
"We are delighted to announce that GSFA has reached this milestone, reinforcing its position as part of the solution in today’s challenging housing market, said Craig Ferguson, Vice President of GSFA. In 2016, GSFA also expanded its support to other economic development initiatives, from multi-family housing rehabilitation projects to rebuilding efforts in fire devastated areas."
GSFA’s Platinum gift program provides a gift, up to 5 percent of the loan amount, to help a qualifying homebuyer cover the down payment and/or closing costs associated with the purchase or refinance of a primary residence. The program is open to first-time homebuyers, returning homebuyers or those looking to refinance an existing primary residence. More information about the gift program is available on the GSFA website www.gsfahome.org.
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GSFA Provides $1.5 Million Grant for Fire Disaster Victims in Lake and Calaveras Counties
In 2015, two wildfires raged through Lake and Calaveras Counties causing wide-spread devastation. The Valley Fire (Lake) scorched over 76,000 acres, destroyed nearly 2,000 residential properties and killed four people. It is considered the third-worst fire in California history based on total structures burned. The Butte Fire (Calaveras) burned 64,000 acres, destroyed 549 homes and claimed the lives of two individuals.
In response to these devastating fires, in December 2015, the Board of Directors of Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA) approved a grant of $1.5 million for disaster relief assistance. The first $500,000 was allocated in January 2016 for direct assistance to residents procuring immediate temporary housing and/or shelter in the wake of the fires ($350,000 to Lake and $150,000 to Calaveras). The second phase focused on longer term recovery efforts and provided an additional $1 million ($700,000 to Lake and $300,000 to Calaveras) to assist residents with rebuilding or obtaining future long-term residency.
"It’s important to remember that the impacts of these ever-increasing, devastating California wildfires extend decades beyond the initial burn,” said Kevin Cann, GSFA Chair and Mariposa County Supervisor. “While we continually strive to address the issue of wildfires and forest management on the policy front through public advocacy organizations such as the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), we are proud to be able to support recovery and rebuilding efforts through GSFA."
Individuals and families who lost their primary residence (whether owned or rented) were directed to apply for the recovery assistance through the respective County.
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Homeownership Counseling Available to GSFA Homebuyers through Program Manager Partnership with National Council of La Raza
With great enthusiasm, National Homebuyers Fund, Inc. (NHF), announces its partnership with National Council of La Raza (NCLR) to provide counseling services to help homebuyers remove roadblocks to homeownership. This partnership extends counseling services to GSFA homebuyers, as NHF is the program manager for GSFA homeownership programs.
Purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial decisions one makes in their lifetime and presents many challenges for both homebuyers and lenders. The goal in connecting families with counseling, is to empower individuals to make informed choices, avoid pitfalls, and improve their financial well-being, while simultaneously helping lenders focus their time and energy on working with pre-qualified individuals.
Counseling services will focus on bringing homebuyers who may not initially qualify for a mortgage to a place down the road where that goal can be achieved as well as help them remain successful in homeownership.
Through NCLR’s Homeownership Network (NHN), telephone-based counseling is available, free of charge. Counseling links consumers with pre- and post-purchase financial counseling, in order to improve their opportunities for success as homeowners. Trained personnel within NHN’s Counseling Connection (NCC) will answer questions, address concerns, and help clients identify barriers and establish short- and long-term goals to achieve the dream of owning a home.
“We are pleased to be able to offer this service to your clients…it not only helps them understand the lenders perspective and the key factors around getting to approval but in improving their profile they also could be achieving a huge savings and a mortgage payment they are confident they can afford,” said Eric Salazar, Associate Director NCLR Homeownership Network.
NHF will cover any counseling referral fees for homebuyer programs managed by NHF. This includes homebuyer assistance programs sponsored by Golden State Finance Authority, a governmental entity in California, which NHF also manages.
The Participating Lenders or potential homebuyer can initiate the counseling services online at www.nhn.org/nhf, or by calling toll-free (888) 532-3021.
How Homeowners Benefit:
- Assistance in financial planning and preparation pre- and post-purchase.
- Loan pre-qualification review before meeting with a lender.
- Reduced risk of mortgage delinquency with fundamental budget counseling.
- No cost to referred consumer.
How NHF Participating Lenders Benefit:
- Opportunity to have an existing lead list vetted, returning more pre-qualified individuals.
- Opportunity for additional leads through NCC as a partner.
- Assistance getting potential homebuyers ready to purchase over time, allowing lenders to maintain a relationship and a stronger potential pipeline of leads.
- Reduced risk of mortgage default for referred borrowers.
- Increase efficiency in the lending process, as the NCC helps the individual buyer not only navigate the process but collect proper support documentation.
- COST for service sponsored by NHF.
About the NHN
NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. The NHN is the largest family of community-based organizations working together to empower Latino wealth-building through homeownership, by developing effective, efficient programs blending research, advocacy, and direct consumer counseling. NHN counseling affiliates serve more than 65,000 families annually.
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