Homebuyers: CA Down Payment Assistance Program

Discover the CalHFA Dream - A Shared Appreciation Loan You May Be Eligible For

Quick Summary

  • The CalHFA Dream For ALL program will begin accepting applications in April 2024.
  • Qualified applicants will now be chosen by lottery and NOT on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • At least one applicant must be a first-time homebuyer and a first-generation homebuyer (i.e., parent(s) did not own a home)

We want the UC Davis community to be aware of a down payment assistance program offered through the State of California and tailored to income-eligible, first-time and first-generation homebuyers in California.

March 2024: Dream For All Pre-Registration Portal 

CalHFA is introducing a new reservation process for Phase 2 of the CalHFA Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan Program to provide more time to access the program and ensure an equitable distribution of funds. CalHFA anticipates that demand for Dream For All Phase 2 will exceed available funding and will use a randomized selection process to issue DFA Vouchers to applicants.  

Prospective homebuyers should start now to work with an approved lender to get their required documents ready to apply for a DFA Voucher through the pre-registration portal. Access to the portal, located at www.calhfa.ca.gov/dream, will open on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, at 8 a.m. PDT, and will accept applications until 5 p.m. PDT on Monday, April 29, 2024

If your application is drawn and you receive a DFA Voucher, you will have 90 days to shop for a home, enter into a contract to purchase a home, and for the lender to reserve the loan through CalHFA’s Mortgage Access System (MAS). 

Updated Jan. 2024 (originally published Aug. 2023)

In the News

Dream for All: Down payment assistance for first-time California homebuyers relaunches with new lottery.

For income-eligible participants, the CalHFA Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan offers a no-interest loan to cover up to 20% of the purchase price of a new home. This complements a conventional loan that covers the remaining purchase price of the home.

The homebuyer does not need to pay down any portion of the State’s down payment loan while living in the residence. However, upon sale or transfer of the home, the homebuyer will be required to repay CalHFA the amount of the original down payment loan. Additionally, if the property increases in value over time, a predetermined percentage of the home’s appreciation must also be repaid. 

When the CalHFA program first opened in March 2023, the State allocation of $300 million was exhausted in 11 days, evidence of very high demand for this popular program. The next time the CalHFA program opens – some time in April 2024 – $250 million will be available.

Get informed
If you are seriously interested in this program, it is recommended you take steps to complete all the requirements as soon as possible to be prepared to submit an application when the program re-opens. 

  • Visit the Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan webpage to read the full requirements and find resources.
  • Sign up for the CALHFA newsletter to receive updates, including when the program will open. CalHFA will provide an update soon that will include a timeline for applications.

A few things to keep in mind

  • Are there eligibility requirements?
    • Yes, you must meet CalHFA’s income requirements
    • Yes, you must complete homebuyer education and counseling courses in advance of submitting your application!
  • What do I need to do about employment verification?
    • As part of the loan process, employment verification will be required. The University of California uses The Work Number for employment verification. Be sure to visit The Work Number in advance to set up your employment verification account. You will need the University of California Employer Code: 15975. For loan-related questions, please refer to CalHFA's resources or ask your lender.

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this is not a benefit provided by UC Davis. CalHFA is a program offered by the State of California for the general population in the State and is a program that is not affiliated with, endorsed, or sponsored by UC Davis. Home buying is a personal choice and any interested employees should independently review and investigate this program to ensure it meets their needs.

UC Davis will make employees aware of other home-buying options as they become available. The CalHFA Dream For All Shared Appreciation Loan is one opportunity worth evaluating.