Press Releases

New Updates to the Empower Homebuyers SCC Down Payment Assistance Program

Program offers loan amount of $250,000, up to 30% of the purchase price with no maximum 
purchase price 

San Jose, CA – March 15, 2023 – The County of Santa Clara and Housing Trust Silicon Valley, a nonprofit community loan fund, announced today new updates to the Empower Homebuyers Santa Clara County (SCC) Down Payment Assistance Program

Funded by the 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond, Empower Homebuyers SCC assists low-to-moderate income first-time homebuyers, including employees at nonprofit organizations, teachers, healthcare professionals, and county employees, purchase homes in Santa Clara County. 

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. 

If a homebuyer has at least 3% of a home’s purchase price saved up, an Empower loan can provide up to 30% of the purchase price, enabling a down payment of 33% on a home. The Empower loan is structured to not require monthly loan payments, it is  a 30-year deferred loan. 

“With housing costs increasing, many residents in the greater Bay Area find that one main obstacle to purchasing a home is securing a down payment,” said Fathia Macauley, Chief Lending Officer, Housing Trust. “This update to the Empower down payment assistance program will make affordable housing widely accessible to even more people who live or work in Santa Clara County.” 

“A down payment is one of many barriers to homeownership in our area, where the economic gap continues to grow,” said Consuelo Hernandez, Director of the County of Santa Clara’s Office of Supportive Housing. “This program, along with many others, is part of the collective effort between the County and local partners to make our community livable for everyone, not just a few.” 

To learn more about the Empower Homebuyers SCC down payment assistance program, visit

About Housing Trust Silicon Valley 

Housing Trust Silicon Valley (Housing Trust) is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) based in San Jose that works to improve the quality of life for low to moderate income people in the greater Bay Area by increasing affordable housing opportunities. Since 2000, Housing Trust has loaned more than $500 million towards the development of affordable homes throughout the greater Bay Area. These investments have resulted in the creation of more than 25,000 affordable housing opportunities, helping nearly 47,000 of neighbors. It is the first nonprofit CDFI to receive a Standard & Poor’s rating, AA- because of its strong capacity to meet financial commitments. For more information visit

About County of Santa Clara 

The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multicultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, Calif., making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits. 


Media Contact:

Alexandra Pony