Los Angeles, CA – Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA), a top nonprofit homebuilder of affordable for-sale homes for homebuyers in greater Los Angeles, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $5 million grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s (HCD) CalHome Program. This funding will help further the organization’s mission of keeping affordable homeownership within reach for Angelenos.
“We are grateful for this opportunity to reach more communities with this CalHome grant,” said Erin Rank, President and CEO of Habitat LA. “With housing disparities growing in Los Angeles, we value the CalHome Program and its funding to ensure affordable housing is accessible. We at Habitat LA will actively use this funding to provide first time homebuyers with downpayment assistance.”
CalHome is one of the few sources of state funding that can be used to increase the supply of affordable homeownership, helping alleviate the housing crisis in California by ensuring more families can access homeownership. Owning a home has many proven positive benefits – housing security, better health and educational outcomes, and generational wealth-building for traditionally underserved communities with disproportionately low homeownership rates due to decades-long housing discrimination.
The funding in the CalHome Program was set to expire in 2022. Recognizing the crucial need for this funding, Habitat LA worked in coalition with Habitat for Humanity California and fellow Habitat affiliates statewide to advocate for the inclusion of CalHome in the state budget. Governor Gavin Newsom heeded the call of the Habitat for Humanity network and its bi-partisan champions in the State Legislature and allocated $300M to CalHome over two years.
Senator Anna Caballero (D-Merced), a fervent advocate for accessible housing solutions for Californians, led the CalHome funding request in the State Senate. “I am inspired by the dedication of the Habitat for Humanity network in California and was honored to champion this budget effort,” said the Senator. “Our success demonstrates what we can achieve when we work together to build a stronger, more resilient California – one where every individual and family has the opportunity to thrive in a home of their own.”
In the other house of the State Legislature, Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) worked tirelessly on behalf of Habitat for Humanity’s request to the Governor to fund the CalHome program. “The funding allocation that Habitat for Humanity and its coalition partners achieved marks a historic milestone in our collective efforts to tackle the housing crisis our state continues to face,” said Assemblymember Reyes. “I recognize the importance of homeownership production and its profound potential to uplift communities and empower Californians. I continue to stand firmly with Habitat and am honored to have helped lead this effort in the Assembly.”
The CalHome dollars will be utilized to provide downpayment assistance for buyers seeking homeownership with Habitat LA. A total of 11 Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the state secured $52.7M in CalHome funding that will build, preserve, and provide access to homes in 13 counties in California.
While this funding will most certainly make a difference in our community and across the state, the CalHome program is oversubscribed year after year. HCD awarded $126M in this CalHome funding cycle, and over twice as much – $257M – was requested by qualified applicants. Habitat affiliates in California applied for a total of $85.7M that could be put to work immediately building and repairing homes. Habitat for Humanity affiliates in California will continue to advocate for more allocations for homeownership production through the CalHome program.
About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) transforms neighborhoods throughout greater Los Angeles by bringing the community together to build affordable homes, provide critical home repairs and help families rebuild after natural disasters. Habitat LA strengthens families through helping them access affordable loans, housing counseling and down-payment assistance. For more information about Habitat LA visit https://www.habitatla.org/.
Makebra Bridges Sr. Director of Marketing & Communications