CalHome Program

The CalHome Program partners with lenders to assist low-income, first-time homebuyers with buying a home in the City of Oakland. This program is currently suspended for lack of funds. This page will be updated when we have funding replenished and are taking reservations.


This program is currently suspended for lack of funds. This page will be updated when we have funding replenished and are taking reservations.



About the Program:

The City of Oakland’s CalHome Program operates jointly with participating lenders to assist low income, first-time homebuyers to purchase homes in Oakland.

The City of Oakland lends qualifying homebuyers the amount needed to fill the financing gap in order to afford a home purchase. The subsidy covers a portion of the downpayment to allow buyers access to first mortgage loans with better terms. The City loans are secured by a Deed of Trust on the property and require no monthly payments.

The City provides these loans to create affordable homeownership opportunities for low income households.

Maximum Amount: Loan amounts are 30% of the purchase price, not to exceed $60,000.

Minimum Amount: N/A


Eligible Applicants: Applicants must be first-time homebuyers. A first-time homebuyer is someone who has not owned their main residence during the last three years. Some exceptions may apply.

Oakland Resident/Worker/Displacee Requirement: The program is subject to the Oakland Residency requirements which limits buyer eligibility to households with an adult who is an Oakland resident, or an Oakland worker/student, or was displaced from an Oakland housing unit.

Location: Property must be located in the City of Oakland.

Eligible Properties: Any owner occupied or vacant single family dwellings, including detached, condos, townhomes and live work units. Purchase price cannot exceed $1,420,000. A satisfactory General Home Inspection is required and the home must meet basic health and safety requirements.

Income: Applicants' annual household income cannot exceed 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Income of all household members 18 years or older must be considered (includes house/roommates). Current limits are $76,750 for a household of 1 person, $87,700 for 2 persons, $98,650 for 3, $109,600 for 4, $118,400 for 5, $127,150 for 6, $135,950 for 7, and $144,700 for 8 persons.

Occupancy: Owner-Occupied only

Eligible Uses: Primary Residence. Renting is prohibited.

Other Requirements: Buyers must contribute 3% of the purchase price from their own funds to pay for down payment or closing costs. Some exceptions for Section 8 buyers and very low income may apply. Gift funds do not count towards the 3%.

Loan Details

Interest Rate: 3.0% simple

Payments/Terms: No Monthly Payments

· Due in 30 Years or when the borrower sells, transfers, refinances the property (under certain conditions) or converts the home to rental property.

· The CalHome second loan must be combined with a 30-year fixed first mortgage loan with taxes and insurance impounded

· 100% Maximum Combined Loan to Value (includes any FHA UFMIP)

· The City’s $250 application processing fee is collected when the home is under contract and the application is received.

Approved Lenders: Of those on the Participating Lender List, these institutions are approved for CalHome:

All California Mortgage/Division of APMC • American Pacific Mortgage Corp./DBAs • Bank of America • Bank of the West • Bay Equity Home Loans, LLC • Caliber Home Loans, Inc. • Envoy Mortgage • First Choice Loan Services Inc. • Guaranteed Rate, Inc. • Guild Mortgage • Mountain West Financial, Inc. • MUFG Union Bank • Opes Advisors • Patelco • Supreme Lending

Prepayment Penalty: None

Security: Deed of Trust

How to Apply

Status: Program is currently suspended. This page will be updated when the program is reopened and ready to take reservations.

Deadline: Funds are available by reservation on a first-come first-served basis. Please call or check the website periodically for status updates.

Pre-Application Process:

  1. Reserve space in a Homebuyer Education Workshop by visiting and selecting a workshop.
  2. After getting a certificate of completion from the workshop, prequalify through the above lenders. The lender screens buyers for program eligibility. Later, when the buyer has a home under contract, the lender reserves funds and coordinates submittal of the application to the City.

Application Process for the First-Time Homebuyer CalHome Program

  1. Attend a home buyer education workshop
  2. Get your loan pre-approval from a participating lender
  3. Select a real estate agent.
  4. Find a home.
  5. Sign a purchase contract.
  6. Complete the loan application with a participating lender and provide the purchase contract.
  7. Lender structures your financing package and reserves program funds.
  8. City of Oakland commits funds to the transaction. Funds are committed on a first-come-first serve basis only after the buyer is in contract and eligible financing is structured.
  9. Lender submits application to City of Oakland.
  10. City of Oakland verifies eligibility and issues approval letter.
  11. City coordinates loan closing and funding with first lender and escrow.

Application: The first mortgage lender assists buyers with the application. Buyers do not apply directly to the City.