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Affordability Meets Flexibility: An Interview with CRHMFA Homebuyers Fund

By Renee Smith

Please describe a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

CRHMFA Homebuyers Fund (CHF) is a duly constituted public entity with a focus on affordable housing. For two decades, we have offered financial assistance programs designed to help individuals and families purchase homes. In 2010, CHF expanded to also provide financial assistance to homeowners interested in making energy efficiency improvements to their home. Since 1993, CHF has participated in financing over 44,800 properties and provided over $39 million in grants.

What is your position at CHF?

Director of Marketing.

For families first inquiring about these loans, how can they find out if their salary level qualifies?

Not all of our affordable homeownership programs have income limits, or salary level requirements. For example with the CHF Residential Energy Retrofit Program, homeowners with any source of verifiable income are eligible to apply for the financing to help them make energy efficiency improvements to their home. There is no minimum or maximum income limit, although the level of credit qualifying is determined by the lending institution, through the loan application process.

Our down payment assistance programs have income limits, although they are higher than most homebuyers might expect, up to 115% of the HUD area median income. In the county of San Francisco, for example, the limit is $116,380. The income limits are published on our website And you don't have to be a first-time homebuyer to qualify for CHF down payment assistance programs.

For your "CHF Residential Energy Retrofit Program", what energy efficient home improvements will qualify me for this loan?

A variety of energy efficiency improvements can be financed through the program. Eligible improvements can address solutions for high energy usage, drafts, cold or warm spots in home, mold and moisture problems, poor air quality and combustion safety issues. Examples of eligible energy efficiency work include window and duct sealing, insulating walls and attics, installing new heating and air conditioning systems, and installing new water heaters and windows.

Please take the time to describe your most popular down payment assistance program in detail.

The CHF Platinum down payment assistance program is currently our most popular homeownership program. The CHF Platinum program has been available for a little over three years, and has helped over 6,200 individuals or families to purchase home in California.

CHF Platinum provides up to a 5% sized grant in combination with a 30-year fixed rate FHA mortgage. Just to give you an example of how much the grant can help a homeowner, consider this: On a $200,000 mortgage loan, that's up to $10,000 in a non-repayable grant.

The grant, provided by CHF, doesn't ever have to be paid back by the homeowner and the money from the grant can be used toward the homeowner's down payment and/or closing costs.

How do your services differ from other companies that have partnered with lending institutions?

There are several very good down payment assistance programs available meeting the needs of a wide variety of homebuyers. The majority of them are first-time homebuyer programs, and some utilize a 2nd Mortgage for down payment assistance. The non-repayable gift aspect of the Platinum Program, as well as no first-time homebuyer requirement, opens more doors for homeownership opportunities.

How do you help your clients decide which policy is right for them and their home?

Regarding CHF Programs, CHF works directly with mortgage lenders and energy contractors that participate in CHF Programs, who work directly with their clients with regard to homeownership energy solutions.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you?

We provide a list of CHF Participating Lenders or CHF Participating Contractors on our website. Or the public can call our toll-free number (855) 740-8422 and we will provide a referral over the phone. In addition, our customer service department is available at that same number from 8 am to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to help and answer questions.

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Cynthia Relloque

I am in indeed of help with my home my heater and air condition need to be replaced and my house leaks air in and out , my problem is I don't have that cash to do it myself,so if CHF can help us do

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About The Author

Renee is a content contributor for Having a background in Marketing...

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