The Housing Trust of Santa Clara County, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affordable housing lender, and American Home Equity Partners LLC (AHEP) have jointly launched a new program designed to help first-time home buyers in Santa Clara County with down payment support.
Under the new Equity Share Co-Investment (ESCO) program, The Housing Trust will invest up to $75,000 per home for first-time home buyers in Santa Clara County earning up to 140% of the area median income, which is $147,700 for a family of four.
No interest or principal payments are required on the ESCO for a period of 10 years. At the end of 10 years – or earlier, if the home is sold or refinanced – the ESCO principal will be repaid plus interest directly tied to the appreciation of the home.
Both Bank of America and Citibank are approved first-mortgage lenders for the program. The Housing Trust and AHEP are working to approve additional lenders.
"The ESCO program brings a new focus and product offering to our first-time home buyer programs," says Kevin Zwick, executive director of The Housing Trust. "We believe that with ESCO, many aspiring homeowners who were previously shut out of the market in Santa Clara County can find a way in."