Illegals Could Get First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Under Proposed Bill

( – California Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula is championing a new bill, Assembly Bill 1840, to break ground by extending housing benefits to undocumented immigrants seeking to purchase homes in the state. Introduced on January 16th, the bill proposes amending existing laws to allow undocumented immigrants access to the California Dream for All Fund. This program provides down payment loans for first-time homebuyers.

Arambula laid out his reasons for introducing the bill in an interview with GV Wire, a Fresno-based online news outlet. He expressed his desire to ensure that qualified undocumented applicants are included among the pool of first-time homebuyers eligible for the program. He emphasized that the program is self-sustaining, as the loans are eventually repaid with an additional appreciation fee. By including undocumented immigrants, Arambula argued, the program would expand the pool of applicants without placing any financial burden on the state.

Under the proposed legislation, approved applicants would receive 20% of a home’s value loans, capped at $150,000. The loans must be repaid when the property is sold or transferred, along with 20% of any increase in its value (appreciation). Individuals earning less than their county’s median income would have a reduced appreciation fee of 15%.

Arambula highlighted the $500 million allocated for the program in the 2022-23 state budget. Addressing concerns about potential fiscal impact, he clarified that the program generates revenue, as the funds are recycled to assist new first-time buyers. He further said that the program did not affect the state budget and emphasized that it recovered its investment, highlighting the program’s financial sustainability.

Since its launch last year, the California Dream for All Fund has garnered significant interest. CalMatters reported that $300 million in loans were claimed within 11 days, aiding approximately 2,500 homebuyers on a first-come, first-served basis. The program operates through a lottery system, with 2,000 homebuyers expected to share $250 million in state funds this year.

Assembly Bill 1840 has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development for further consideration. However, Assemblyman Arambula has yet to respond to requests for comment regarding the bill’s progress.

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