Program Overview

ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance Program

Homebuyer Assistance Up to $350,000 per Household

The ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance Program is designed to help low- to moderate-income (LMI) households who lived in a high or very high Fire Hazard Severity Zone at the time of eligible 2018 and 2020 California wildfires purchase a home in California outside of these hazardous areas.

The Program provides homebuyer assistance up to $350,000 in the form of a Second Mortgage Loan, which is forgiven after five years of maintaining ownership and occupancy. This assistance aims to bridge the affordability gap between what an applicant could afford in a First Mortgage Loan and the purchase price of a property.

Program Highlights(1)

  • Homebuyer assistance up to $350,000 per household
  • Assistance forgiven after 5 years ownership and occupancy
  • Renters or homeowners impacted by qualifying wildfires are eligible to apply
  • Perfect credit not required: FICO scores as low as 640 can qualify
  • Variety of eligible properties:
    single-family residences, townhomes, condominiums, and manufactured homes
  • Variety of eligible Mortgage Loan options:
    FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional Mortgage Loans

How to Apply if You are a Homebuyer

We are here to answer questions about the Program and provide a general understanding of how it may help you purchase a home in California. When you are ready to discuss your personal financial situation and/or get started, you will need to work with one of our ReCoverCA HBA Lenders.

GSFA is not a direct lender and relies on a network of ReCoverCA HBA Lenders to determine applicant eligiblity, process applications, and furnish current interest rates and APRs.

Lender Participation Guide

The Lender Participation Guide furnishes Lenders (and real estate professionals) with complete program policies, and an understanding of the steps to be taken to process loan applications for the ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance Program. Information in the Lender Participation Guide is intended for mortgage professionals only.

ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance Program

Eligibility Requirements & Assistance Terms(1)

Applicants are required to meet program policies and requirements. Frequently asked questions about eligibility and the terms and conditions for homebuyer assistance are outlined below. When you are ready to get started, or if you have questions about your individual circumstances, talk with a ReCoverCA HBA Lender. Our lenders will help you determine how much homebuyer assistance you qualify for under the Program. They will also provide complete program policies, eligibility requirements, interest rates, APRs and process your loan application.

Who is Eligible?

Program eligibility is limited to low to moderate income homeowners and renters whose primary residence, at the time of the qualifying disasters in 2018 or 2020, was located in high or very high Fire Hazard Severity Zones.

2018 Qualifying Disaster Areas

  • Butte County
  • Lake County
  • Los Angeles County
  • Shasta County

2020 Qualifying Disaster Areas

  • Butte County
  • Fresno County
  • Los Angeles County
  • Napa County
  • Santa Cruz
  • Shasta
  • Siskiyou
  • Solano
  • Sonoma
What Properties are Eligible?

Properties eligible to be purchased through the ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance Program must be located outside of High or Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones. See CalFire’s Fire Hazard Severity Zone Viewer for details.

Eligible Property Types

  • Single-family homes (1 unit only)
  • Townhomes
  • Agency approved condominiums
  • Planned unit developments (PUDs)
  • Manufactured housing

Number of Bedrooms

The number of bedrooms allowed is dependent on the household size.The program follows the federal standard of 1.5 persons per bedroom for the minimum number of bedrooms allowed, along with the following occupancy standards, which set the maximum number of bedrooms allowed as set forth below:

Homebuyer Assistance Terms

The Program provides homebuyer assistance up to $350,000 per household, to fill the affordability gap between what First Mortgage Loan the applicant can qualify for and the purchase price of the home. The assistance is intended to cover the applicant’s down payment, closing costs (customary/reasonable), and prepaids up to a cap of $350,000.

HBA Loan Terms

The homebuyer assistance is provided in the form of a deferred Second Mortgage Loan (HBA Loan) with a zero percent note rate. The HBA Loan does not acrue interest, has no monthly payments, and is completely forgiven after the new homeowner maintains ownership and lives in the home for five years.

Calculating the Assistance Amount

GSFA Participating Lenders will help applicants calculate how much assistance they qualify for under the ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance Program.

The HBA Loan amount is based-on the maximum qualifying First Mortgage Loan amount, and the purchase price or appraised value (whichever is less) of the home.

The HBA Loan amount is reduced by the amount of any assistance the applicant received (and has not used) from other sources that were intended for the same purpose (housing) and any cash reserves over $100,000 that the applicant may have. The maximum HBA Loan amount is capped at $350,000 per household.

Questions or Ready to Get Started?

(1)This web page contains general program information, is not an offer for extension of credit nor a commitment to lend and is subject to change without notice. Complete program policies, eligibility requirements, loan applications, interest rates and annual percentage rates (APRs) are available through ReCoverCA HBA Lenders.

The ReCoverCA Homebuyer Assistance (DR-HBA) Program is provided by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in collaboration with GSFA as Program Manager. Funding for the Program is made possible through a Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) grant from HUD. GSFA is a duly constituted public entity and agency.