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Millions More For Middle Class Homes

Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Malia Cohen have introduced legislation to invest up to $125 million over the next decade for down payment assistance loans for middle-income homebuyers in the city. The investment would be a partnership between the San Francisco Retirement Board & Employee Retirement System (of which Cohen is a board member) and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.

Calling the program part of an effort toward ” creating a San Francisco where everyone belongs,” Lee said it was central to attacking the housing crisis. “We are in the midst of a housing affordability crisis in San Francisco, and people of every income are struggling to find a place for themselves and their families in our city,” said Lee. “Today’s first-in-the-nation investment by our public pension system will bring the dream of homeownership into reach for up to 1,500 middle class families in San Francisco.”

“There are many ways to address San Francisco’s affordability crisis — and one way is to clear a path for first-time homebuyers,” said Cohen. “Homeownership should not be out of reach for our city’s residents, and we need to be creative about the tools we are providing in order to keep low- and middle-income families in San Francisco.”

The down payment assistance loan program is structured as a “silent” second loan that doesn’t require payments for 40 years; at the end of that term or earlier upon sale or transfer, the principal plus “an equitable share of the appreciation” is due.

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