My First Home Program


The City is excited to announce a $3.0 million expansion of its down payment assistance program, now called My First Home, to further assist first-time homebuyers achieve the dream of homeownership within Santa Ana.

The My First Home Program will offer down payment assistance loans to first-time home buyers to aid in the purchase of a home within the City of Santa Ana. Funds will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis. A first-time home buyer may be eligible to borrow up to $120,000 with 0% interest rate.



  • Borrower(s) must be a first time home buyer (a person with no ownership interest in, or who has not held ‘title’ to a principal residence during the three-year period preceding the purchase of the property).
  • Complete a minimum of eight (8) hours of in-person home ownership training offered by a counseling center approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • Must have at least three percent (3%) of the purchase price for a down payment from seasoned funds (at least 90 days seasoned). Three most-recent bank statements are required to verify seasoned funds. Seasoned funds cannot be from gift funds. Gift funds may contribute towards the purchase; gift funds may not exceed 3% of purchase price.
  • Must be pre-qualified for a 1st Mortgage and have a positive credit history and obtain a fixed-rate first mortgage. Co-signers and variable rate loans are not allowed.
  • The Housing Division has a local preference for veterans and applicants who live or work in the City of Santa Ana.
  • Total Annual Income of the household, meaning all persons residing in the home as their principal place of residence, cannot exceed the income limits established below:
Household Size Low Income Moderate Income
1 person $80,400 $107,350
2 persons $91,850 $122,700
3 persons $103,350 $138,000
4 persons $114,800 $153,350
5 persons $124,000 $165,600
6 persons $133,200 $177,900
7 persons $142,400 $190,150
8 persons $151,550 $202,400

Interest Rates, Repayment, and Incentives

  • 0% Interest rate
  • Owner-Occupied for life of loan
  • Repayment of the City loan principle balance will be required at the end of the 45-year term of affordability.
  • Santa Ana Student Incentive:  Santa Ana Student Incentive: Prospective homebuyers who have completed a four-year college or a State Certified Professional Trade School education and resided in Santa Ana during their high school years can qualify for loan forgiveness of up to $40,000 over a period of twenty years, with $10,000 forgiven every five years.
  • U.S. Military Veteran or on Active Duty Incentive:  U.S. Military Veteran or on Active Duty personnel is eligible for a loan forgiveness up $40,000 over a period of twenty years, with $10,000 forgiven every five years
  • The City has a local preference for veterans and applicants who live or work in the City of Santa Ana.


Down payment workshops

In collaboration with NeighborWorks Orange County,  down payment workshops are geared for first time homebuyers who are thinking of purchasing a home to gain a better understanding of down payment assistance programs, resources to prepare you towards homeownership and understanding lending products.

The virtual presentations are offered on the second Tuesday of every month. Workshops will be starting again at the beginning of 2023.

For questions, email Registration is required and must be made no later than 48 hours prior to the scheduled date.


8 Hour HUD Approved Homebuyer Education

NeighborWorks Orange County provides a down payment assistance course that can be found here.  This Virtual HUD Approved Homebuyer Course is scheduled from 8:30am - 4:30pm and geared for first time homebuyers who will be purchasing within one year, are currently in escrow or eager to understand the homebuying process. This HUD Approved Course is $25 per person.

Key information on budgeting, credit, lending, real estate process, title, insurance and down payment assistance are covered. A HUD Homebuyer Certificate is provided upon completion and verification of the online intake being complete and all necessary information being provided.


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