Residents of Los Angeles can benefit from home-buying and rental-assistance programs offered by several county government agencies. The Community Development Commission (CDC), the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Independent Living Program fund programs for residents of the unincorporated areas in Los Angeles county as well as many neighboring cities. Programs are also available to help youth who are aging out of the foster-care system meet their housing needs.
Single-Family Grant and Residential Sound Insulation Programs
The Single-Family Grant program helps low-income families who need to eliminate code violations or do electrical, plumbing or other repairs on their properties. Grants for up to $5,000 are provided to homeowners who live in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. The home must be the owner's primary place of residence and the household's total income cannot exceed 80 percent of the county's median income. The Residential Sound Insulation Program is designed for homeowners who live in close proximity to the Los Angeles World Airport or Los Angeles International Airport. Residents of the Lennox, Del Aire and Athens areas can apply for a grant to sound-insulate their home from aircraft noises.
Mortgage Credit Certificate
The Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) offers first-time home buyers a federal tax credit to help them qualify for a loan, since the tax liability would be reduced. Eligible home buyers can take an annual 15 percent tax credit against the income taxes paid on the mortgage. The home to be purchased must be located in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles county or one of the "non-target" cities outlined on the CDC website. The home buyer must also meet income-level requirements. As of January 2011, the price of the home cannot exceed $708,495 to obtain a mortgage credit certificate.
The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program
The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) offers temporary financial assistance for those who have fallen behind on their housing expenses. Financial aid can be used for back rent, a security deposit to secure new housing or overdue utility bills. To qualify for the program, eviction must be foreseeable in the near future and the applicant must meet income-level requirements. The applicant must be living in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles county or in one of the 66 participating cities.
Rental Assistance for Transition Age Youth
As "transition age" youths age out of the foster care system between the ages of 18 and 24, the county's Homeless Prevention Initiative provides rental assistance to support their independent living. Financial aid can be used for the security deposit and up to an additional three months of rental assistance. Funds can also be used toward utility fees, furniture or appliances. To be eligible for the program, the applicant must have resided in a foster care program after the age of 16, or had been adopted after the age of 12. The applicant must have a source of income but cannot net over $2,500 a month to be eligible for assistance.