First Time Home Buyers

We understand that buying a house for the first time can be stressful and challenging, but we hope that the resources below can assist you in your efforts to afford a down payment and secure your first home loan. Below is some additional information on first time home buyer assistance. You can also take a look at our First Time Home Buyers Informational Handout for a list of resources available.

Interested in Affordable Housing in Union City?

We keep an interest list for people who are interested in affordable housing opportunities. As new affordable housing becomes available, we will send you information for each individual project or unit (description of the housing and income requirements). Please note, the interest list is not an application wait list, it is an "interest list" only. To get on our affordable housing interest list, please sign up for email updates below:

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.

Below Market Rate (BMR) Ownership Housing

A Below-Market-Rate (BMR) home is a home that is priced to be affordable to households that are low to moderate income. Usually, the BMR price is lower than the prices of similar homes that are being sold on the open market. BMR owners must occupy the home as their primary residence and cannot rent the home. For more information on BMR homes, please click here.

First Mortgage & Down Payment Assistance

AC Boost 
A NEW down payment assistance program for Alameda County. AC Boost provides financial assistance to middle-income working households to purchase a home in Alameda County.  The program offers shared appreciation loans of up to $150,000 to first-time homebuyers who live in, work in, or have been displaced from Alameda County. Applying for AC Boost is free, fast, and simple! AC Boost is funded by Alameda County Measure A1 and administered by nonprofit organization Hello Housing.

Phone: (510) 500-8840
AC Boost Brochure

California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA)
CalHFA offers several First Mortgage and Down Payment Assistance Programs. Call 877-922-5432 for more information. 

Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDC) - NeighborhoodLIFT Program
The NeighborhoodLIFT Program provides down payment assistance up to $30,000 for qualified buyers. Assistance is not limited to first time home buyers. Call (510) 412-9290 for more information. 

Habitat for Humanity - East Bay/Silicon Valley

Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley provides opportunities for affordable home ownership and pre-purchase counseling. To apply for Habitat for Humanity’s home ownership program please contact Habitat for Humanity at: (510) 251-6304 or email

Mortgage Credit Certificate Program

Alameda County’s Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) runs the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program throughout the County. MCC provides income eligible, first-time homebuyers with an opportunity to reduce the amount of federal income tax otherwise due by an amount equal to 15% of the mortgage interest payments as a dollar for dollar credit on their annual taxes. The remaining 85% can be taken as the usual allowable deduction of the itemized return. The result increases the household’s overall income and ability to qualify for a mortgage loan. The federal income tax advantage provided by the MCC allows the income qualified, first-time homebuyers the opportunity to obtain a higher 1st mortgage.

Alameda County
Housing & Community Development (HCD)
224 W. Winton Ave., Suite 108 Hayward, CA 94544
(510) 670-5246
For hearing impaired call: (510) 265-0253 

Home Buyer Education & Pre-Purchase Counseling

Eden Council for Hope & Opportunity (ECHO) provides pre-purchase counseling for new home buyers.

For more information call 855-ASK-ECHO (toll free) or email or email 

Project Sentinel provides group and individual home buyer education classes. Register HERE for First Time Home Buyer Classes.
For more information call (408) 470-3730 or email