Through state and federal funding sources, Imperial County is able to provide a variety of services through different programs. For example, business loans and infrastructure development projects assist businesses in creating new and higher wage jobs. The First Time Home Buyer program assists low income families by providing low interest down payment loans. The Housing Rehabilitation program enables low income homeowners to repair, rehabilitate or expand their homes. In addition, Imperial County also helps businesses access local, state and federal programs for technical assistance, grants and financing.
Housing Programs Available:
1. First Time Homebuyer Program
The First Time Homebuyer program (FTHB) makes it possible for low-income residents in the unincorporated areas of Imperial County to make the dream of buying a home possible. To qualify for this program the person must be a first time buyer and meet annual household income limits set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Once qualified, the County offers a maximum loan amount of $60,000, through a silent second mortgage that becomes due and payable after 30 years from the close of escrow, unless the home is sold, refinanced, or title has changed. The interest rates for this loan are set at 5% points below the interest rate of the first mortgage and the minimum interest rate for this loan will be set at 1%. In 2008, the County was awarded $700,000 in First Time Homebuyer Grant Funds.
First Time Home Buyer Flyer
First Time Home Buyer Application
First Time Home Buyer Checklist
2. CalHome Program
- Mobilehomes Replacement
- Mobilehomes First Time Home Buyer
3. Neighborhood Stabilization Program
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated $1 billion nation-wide in funds to state and local governments to purchase abandoned and foreclosed homes and residential property through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. This is considered the third round of funding of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).
NSP3 funds must be used for the acquisition and rehabilitation of abandoned, foreclosed residential properties which are located in a targeted neighborhood of greatest need. The grant requires that a minimum 25% of the funds must be used to assist very-low income households earning at or below 50 % of the area median income (“AMI”). All acquisitions funded by NSP3 must meet the discount requirement of one percent (1%) below appraised value. A requirement of the grant is that 50% of funds must be expended within two years, and the balance of funds within 3 years. The timeliness requirement begins upon the approval of the County’s NSP3 Plan and HUD’s subsequent execution of the County’s NSP3 Agreement.
The County of Imperial submitted an abbreviated plan to secure $1,708,780.00 for the implementation of the NSP round 3. The abbreviated plan was approved by the County of Imperial Board of Supervisors on March 30, 2011. Later, the county submitted an amended abbreviated plan to the Board of Supervisors on 05-24-2011.
Activities allowable under the NSP3 program are:
For the acquisition and Rehabilitation (Affordable Housing). NSP3 funds will be utilized for the development and/or rehabilitation of vacant and/or abandoned residential, commercial and/or industrial properties for the purpose of providing permanent affordable housing, which includes the 25% set-aside for households below the 50% Area Median Income (AMI).
Establishment of a First Time Home Buyer Loan Program to assist eligible families to purchase foreclosed residential homes hat have been recovered under the NSP program.
The County has approved three amendments to the Abbreviated Plan in order to add eligible target areas. Persons interested in this program should contact our office for eligibility criteria and to be placed on the wait list.
4. CDBG Housing Rehabilitation
The Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program allows Imperial County Planning & Development Services to offer low interest rate loans to eligible homeowners of the unincorporated areas of Imperial County. The purpose of these loans is to assist homeowners who meet annual household income limits set by HUD in improving their living standards regarding safe, sanitary, and overcrowded living conditions. In December 2008, the County was awarded $600,000 in Housing Rehabilitation Grant Funds for rehabilitation projects in Seeley and Winterhaven.
Housing Rehabilitation Flyer
Housing Rehabilitation Application
Housing Rehabilitation Checklist
The TBRA Program is a rental assistance program designed to help eligible residents of Imperial County with a portion of their monthly rent and up to one month of security deposit. This program is available countywide (including cities) for low-income residents. Gross annual income of applicant's household must be at or below 60% & 80% of Imperial County's median income limits as required by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The majority of beneficiaries under the TBRA program must have household incomes at or below 60% Annual Medium Income (AMI). Only 10% of beneficiaries can have household incomes at or up to 80% Annual Medium Income (AMI).
Rental units must meet High Quality Standards (HQS), similar to Section 8 Housing Assistance program, set by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Applicants who are eligible for the program and meet the preference criteria may remain in their units and be assisted in place; however, if they elect to select a different unit, occupancy standards must be met. The occupancy standard for the program is two persons per sleeping area. The standards prescribed will apply to the majority of families. However, in some cases the relationship, age, sex, health, or disability of a household member may warrant the assignment of a larger unit. The program will implement a schedule of Rent Standards which represent the highest gross rent (Unit rent + Utility Allowance) that can be approved for rental assistance. The TBRA program is a subsidy program that will only cover a portion of the recipients monthly rent and not the entire amount. Applicants must have a source of income and be able to provide verification. Applicants who choose not to remain in their current rental unit must seek and find eligible rental unit. This program does not help applicants find eligible rental units. The TBRA program is a first come, first served basis program with limited funding.
6. HOME Investment Partnerships Program
HOME provides funds to state and local governments to design affordable housing strategies that address local needs and housing conditions. Funds may be used for the acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of rental housing: tenant-based rental assistance; homebuyer assistance; and administrative costs. All HOME assisted housing and rental assistance must target low and very low-income families.
One of HOME’s requirements is that the funded jurisdiction reserves a portion of their HOME funds for housing to be developed, sponsored, or owned by community housing development organizations (CHDO’s). A CHDO is a private, community-based nonprofit organization that has, among its purpose, the provision of decent, affordable housing for low income people. ICPDS, through its Economic Development Division, has participated in the development of three rental apartment complexes: Desert Sunrise, Heber Woods Apartments, and La Paloma Apartments. Every year, the Economic Development Division monitors these projects to ensure compliance.
The rehabilitation loans may have terms up to 20 years at interest rates ranging from 1% to 5%. These loans can be used for repairing:
- Electrical Systems
- Heating/Cooling Units
- Room Additions
- Other potential Hazards