An Explanation of the San Francisco Educator’s Downpayment Assistance Loan Program

An Explanation of the San Francisco Educator’s Downpayment Assistance Loan Program

Co-authored by:
MEDA Housing Opportunities Program Manager Laura Ospina
Landed Relationship Manager Azul Cortez

Laura Ospina and Azul Cortez answer frequently asked questions about the San Francisco Educator’s Downpayment Assistance Loan Program (DALP).

What is the Educator’s DALP? For example, how much can an educator receive in funds, and what types of homes can be financed?
The Educator’s DALP is a public fund created by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) to help SFUSD teachers purchase a single-family home or a condo in San Francisco. This fund, exclusively for San Francisco educators, offers loans of $375,000 maximum toward a downpayment. Teachers have the option to resell their home at market-rate prices, with the Educator’s DALP as a silent second loan and no monthly payments required for 30 years or until the property is sold, whichever comes sooner. Once the owners are ready to repay the loan, MOCHD receives the principal plus an equitable share of the property’s appreciation.

MOHCD begins the application period in early 2020. The Educator’s DALP will have specific monies available, depending on how much the general fund receives.

Who is eligible for the Educator’s DALP?
Teachers who are directly hired by SFUSD are eligible for Educator’s DALP, with the following rules needing to be met:

  • Single-family home or a condo as primary residence.
  • Household income not to exceed 200% of the Area Median Income (AMI). For example, for a family of four, the maximum AMI in 2019 was $246,300 per year.
  • Cannot have owned property in San Francisco for the prior three years; however, can have owned property elsewhere.
  • Must have 3% of the total home value in savings to put toward downpayment.
  • Must partner with an organization from the MOHCD-approved lender list to finance the property.
  • Must complete 10 hours of First-Time Homebuyer Education, such as that offered at MEDA, to apply with an education certificate. This training includes: a two-hour program orientation; a six-hour First-Time Homebuyer education course; and two hours of personal counseling at a housing agency in San Francisco.

Educator’s should create an account on MOHCD’s DAHLIA housing portal to submit an application. It is also advisable for educators to sign up on the MOHCD email list so they know when the application period starts.

What are the steps to apply to Educator’s DALP?
Here are the four steps:

  1. Complete the First-Time Homebuyer certification.
  2. Get a pre-approval letter from one of the lenders listed on MOHCD’s approved list.
  3. Prove you live or work in San Francisco (e.g.. PG&E bill, job-offer letter, landline phone bill, internet bill or pay stub; cannot be dated 45 days prior to submission.)
  4. Submit the above documents on DAHIA. Creating an account on the portal is recommended.

What happens after the lottery?
After the application is submitted online, you will receive a unique ID that will correspond to your application. MOHCD defines this ID as your “lottery number.” After the application period has closed, MOHCD will post the results on their website, plus send you an email that says where you ranked in the lottery. Those ranked high on the list, as lottery numbers one to 20, will be contacted to submit completed paperwork, which will include copies of the following documents: three months of bank statements and any other accounts held, such as stocks and bonds; three most-recent pay stubs; three years of federal income taxes; and a pre-approval letter from an MOHCD-approved lender.

MOHCD will then conduct an income and asset calculation to see if the educator is eligible to move forward. If approved, the process of making offers on homes commences.
If the educator’s offer is accepted, MOHCD will review the property to make sure it is eligible and will wire transfer the funds to your escrow account via the MOHCD-approved lender the educator selected.

Where can teachers find face-to-face client support to complete their Educator’s DALP application?|
Educator’s can visit one of the five MOHCD-approved housing agencies, including MEDA, to get support with applications. Teachers can even be a drop-in at an educator’s clinic to learn more about the program.

Would you encourage SFUSD teachers to apply for Educator’s DALP?
One of the biggest obstacles for community members to become first-time homeowners in San Francisco is not having enough saved for the downpayment. Programs such as Educator’s DALP support individuals experiencing this fiscal challenge. If a teacher is dreaming of owning a home in San Francisco, they are encouraged to take advantage of this funding resource, plus the support provided by organizations such as MEDA to assist individuals in navigating the DALP application process.

Does MEDA offer walk-in hours time to support teachers who need help with the application?
MEDA will add walk-in hours to assist community members applying for Educator’s DALP once the application period starts. Please sign up on the MOHCD email list.

Follow MEDA on social media to learn more about Educator’s DALP as information is learned.
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For more information, contact MEDA’s Housing Opportunities team: (415) 282-3334 ext. 126; homeownership@medasf.org.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash.

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