Capitola aims to revive homebuyer assistance, State to award grant funds in July

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Capitola city officials hope to win state funds to revive programs for first-time homebuyer assistance and housing ehabilitation.

Public input is sought on new guidelines that will be aired at a public hearing after 7 p.m. Thursday n City Hall, 420 Capitola Ave.

City staff propose to apply for $500,000 in community block grant funds, which would be enough for three years worth of loans, staff time and the cost of retaining the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz to administer the programs. The state is expected to announce grant awards in July.

The homebuyer program would make loans to people who earn less than 80 percent of median income, $59,200 for a household of two, or $66,600 for a household of three, to buy a home with a maximum price of $383,000, a limit set by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department.

Most homes in Capitola are priced higher, but a handful of condos and manufactured homes are for sale for less than $383,000.

The maximum subsidy under federal requirements is $151,616 for a one-bedroom unit and $184,364 for a two-bedroom unit.

Under program guidelines, the city assistance would not exceed 50 percent of the purchase price plus closing costs.

The household’s projected ability to pay would be used in calculating income rather than past earnings.

The rehab program would have the same income limits as the homebuyer program. Loans at 3 percent interest would be available with payment deferred until the property is sold.

Funds could pay for energy-saving measures such as weatherization and new windows or improvements for safety and accessibility.

A grant of up to $7,500 could be available to a senior 62 and older, households earning less than half the county median income, or someone making handicap modifications.

Capitola has 2.2 persons per household, according to the census.

Payments made by borrowers would be split between the programs to keep them operating.

To view the meeting agenda, visit

Article- Jondi Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Original article:

Contact Jondi Gumz at 831-706-3253.

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