Success Stories

Empowered by Home: Twentysomething Homebuyers Purchase Their First Home with $193,500 in Down Payment Assistance! 

Eric grew up in Redwood City, and Amy lived in San Francisco before they met as students at San José State University. As they envisioned their future together, skyrocketing interest rates and housing costs made homeownership feel far out of reach. But while working in banking together, their director planted a seed that there were resources and opportunities out there to make the dream possible. 

Embarking on extensive research, they came upon the Empower Homebuyers SCC program as the best one to suit their needs. The beginning of the process included an online Homebuyer Education course and submitting official documents. The next step was to find an affordable interest rate and navigate the rocky landscape of mortgage loans and complex paperwork. 

“We were synced up with a lot of incredible people,” said Amy and Eric. “Elisa – hats off to that woman. She was always on top of everything and helped us meet deadlines, connect pieces of the puzzle. Everyone was just super supportive. It was a delight working with everyone there.” 

Despite interest rates spiking from the banking crisis, the Housing Trust and the Empower team were able to provide Eric and Amy with the support they needed to obtain a pre-approval and close on their first property: a beautiful, 3-level, 2-bedroom, and 2-bath condominium in San José. For Amy and Eric, this was a dream come true.  

“Growing up, everyone’s dream is to
eventually purchase a home they can call
their own. In the Bay Area and coming
from a low-income background, it’s a goal
that seems like more of a dream at times,”
said Eric. “Coming across the Housing Trust
program was the biggest help. This drove
our motivation and focus on how to make
that a reality. We’re both young,
somewhat fresh out of college. Things of
this nature are not something you can
consider until your late 30s or 40s.”

Working in nonprofit social services and tech sales, Amy and Eric had never imagined that homeownership in their mid-20s was possible. They are the first homebuyers to benefit from the new Empower program updates, achieving their dreams with a 33% down payment.  

Updates to the program include a maximum loan amount of $250,000, up to 30% of the purchase price of a single-family home, condo, or townhome located within Santa Clara County. There is no maximum purchase price. Details on the new updates to the Empower Homebuyers SCC Down Payment Assistance Program announced in March 2023 can be found here.  

Amy advises first-time homebuyers interested in the Empower Homebuyers SCC program to, “Research, research, research. Make sure that this program is for you, and you are ready for that commitment of putting in the time and prioritizing this program. The 8-hour class we were required to take is going to be very helpful; it explains everything that there is to know with home buying. They do one-on-one counseling, as well between the whole process.” 

For people dreaming of buying their first home in Santa Clara County, free information sessions are available to learn more about how to apply for the program.  

For more information about Empower Homebuyers SCC, please visit