Press Releases

New Empower Homebuyers SCC Program Provides Down Payment Assistance for First-time Homebuyers in Santa Clara County

New program funded through the 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.—The Housing Trust Silicon Valley and County of Santa Clara are launching Empower Homebuyers SCC, a new down payment assistance program for first-time homebuyers in Santa Clara County. Funded through the 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond and administered by the Housing Trust, Empower Homebuyers SCC is expected to assist approximately 250 households over the first five years.

Residents are invited to attend Supervisor Cindy Chavez’s free Townhall to learn about how to participate in Empower Homebuyers SCC and what the qualifications are for the first-time homebuyer program. The Townhall is Wednesday, Nov. 28, 6-7 p.m. at the County Government Center Board Chambers, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose. The link to register is

“This is a big step for our community’s teachers, nurses, and nonprofit workers – the residents who make up the foundation of Santa Clara County,” said Supervisor Cindy Chavez, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. “Empower Homebuyers SCC is a successful effort made possible by the voter-approved Measure A Affordable Housing Bond in 2016.”Down payment assistance will be provided to homebuyer through a new 30-year deferred shared appreciation loan that requires no monthly payments from the homebuyer. Loan payment, principal plus a share of the home’s appreciation, is only due on the maturity date, if the loan is refinanced, or if the borrower decides to sell or move out of the home.

“Empower Homebuyers puts our Measure A bond funds to work for our workforce, and is a way to help the ‘missing middle’ who have been cut off from owning because of the down payment obstacle,” said Supervisor Joe Simitian, President of the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. “This program helps put homeownership in reach for teachers, healthcare professionals, food service workers, and many more.”

Empower Homebuyers is open to first-time homebuyers, with incomes that do not exceed 120% of the Area Median Income,  who wish to purchase a primary residence in Santa Clara County and have a household income within the designated limits, set by household size.  At the start of the program limits begin at $105,200 for a single-person household and increase to $150,250 for a family of four. Borrowers are required to make a minimum contribution of 3% of the purchase price of the home and the maximum purchase price is $800,000. More information and application instructions can be found at

“We’re glad to support the County of Santa Clara with this important program,” said Adria Quinones-Masur, Director of Homebuyer Programs at Housing Trust. “We’ve had a lot of success with our Homebuyer Empowerment Loan Program and know the demand for down payment assistance is high. My team is looking forward to helping first-time homebuyers in Santa Clara County realize their dream of home ownership.”

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Empower Homebuyers SCC is a program of the County of Santa Clara administered by Housing Trust Silicon Valley. It provides down payment assistance loans to first-time homebuyers in the county and is funded by the 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond. The program is aimed at assisting low to moderate income county residents – including employees at nonprofit organizations, teachers, healthcare professionals, County employees and others.


The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, the sixth largest county in California. With a $7 billion budget, more than 70 agencies/departments and 20,000 employees, the County of Santa Clara plans for the needs of a dynamic community, offers quality services, and promotes a healthy, safe and prosperous community for all.  The County provides essential services including public health and environmental protection, medical services through Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC), child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, parks, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and scores of other services, particularly for those members of our community in the greatest need.


Housing Trust Silicon Valley (Housing Trust) is a nonprofit community loan fund based in San Jose that works to improve quality of life low-income people in the Greater Bay Area by increasing affordable housing opportunities. Since 2000, Housing Trust has invested $183 million in programs that help everyone from the homeless to renters to first-time homebuyers – creating more than 17,000 affordable housing opportunities serving over 30,000 of our neighbors. It is the first nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to receive a Standard & Poor’s rating, AA- because of its strong capacity to meet financial commitments. For more information visit


Housing Trust Silicon Valley

Michael Norris, Communications Manager * (408) 436-3450 x 241

Julie Quinn, Dir. Of Resource Development * (408) 436-3450 x 223

County of Santa Clara Office of Public Affairs

Laurel Anderson/Marina Hinestrosa * (408) 299-5119