I work on affordable housing issues in San Francisco. I have seen many programs to assist you in purchasing a home. Much depends on how much money you make, what you do for a living, and where you want to buy.
I believe that the main benefit of buying property is to create a stability for your family, to have a place that no one can tell you to leave and will grow in value to carry you through hard times and become an asset.
In my work I've looked at many models and programs. I've come to the conclusion that the assistance programs that work on the land trust models, median income percentage models do not afford you the best alternative.
The best alternative is to give you a hand up and then to let you benefit from the market. There is a program that I support strongly. It is EARN SF. This program takes people and teaches how to budget and save. Then it matches the savings with grants of two to one, so for each dollar the saver saves EARN give two so you now have three. The education is the key though.
The organization is based on the belief that only by creating assets can people breakout of the cycle of poverty. In the EARN system you can use the savings and grant to buy a home, start a business or on education. Those three things are the legs upon which the stool of upward mobility stands. It is the GI bill really. And we have to recognize that the GI bill created the middle class in America.
I would like to see the model of education in savings and budget implemented along with grants to give opportunity to people that can't afford homes rather than giving grants to non-profits that then create housing and staff to support, in-perpetuity, housing that won't contribute to the person that bought.
I fear that it will become another form of subsidized housing that once youâ€™re in you have no motivation to go and you and your kids and your grandkids stay and expect the non-profit to maintain. It feed the sense of entitlement rather than contribute to the stability of you and your family.