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September 15, 2023

New Dedicated Phone Number and Email Address Connect Households of Color with a Homeownership Advisor

First-time homebuyers can receive help with the process of buying a home or becoming ready for homeownership. Grants from Wells Fargo and the National Fair Housing Alliance support this program.

SAN DIEGO, CA — Help to navigate the process necessary to become first-time homebuyers is a phone call or email away for middle-income Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) households through a joint effort of the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) and the San Diego Homeownership Equity Collaborative.

Households that want to learn more about available assistance for down payments or closing costs, as well as referrals to programs to prepare for homeownership, such as credit counseling or debt reduction, should call (619) 578-7788 or email

“Having someone to help navigate the often complex process of homeownership is so important, especially for communities that have historically faced intentional access challenges,” said San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Monica Montgomery Steppe, the Co-Chair of the City-County Reinvestment Task Force, one of the leading members of the San Diego Homeownership Equity Collaborative. “What seems like a small win officially puts us one step closer to dismantling barriers for first-time homebuyers of color in San Diego.”

The new phone number and email address connect prospective first-time homebuyers with a Homeownership Advisor who works for SDHC.

“Every day prospective homebuyers need help navigating a complicated homebuying process,” SDHC Chair of the Board Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell said. “Historically people of color, who are potential homebuyers, have faced additional challenges navigating the process. The San Diego Housing Commission is focused on continuing to take steps to make the homeownership process possible and easier for households of color.”

Major funding for the Homeownership Advisor, the phone line and SDHC’s middle-income, BIPOC first-time homebuyer program, announced in June, is from the Wells Fargo Foundation’s Wealth Opportunities Realized Through Homeownership (WORTH) initiative, a $60 million national effort to address systemic barriers to homeownership for people of color. Wells Fargo awarded a $7.5 million WORTH grant to SDHC, which is part of the San Diego Homeownership Equity Collaborative, to help create 5,000 new homeowners of color in San Diego County by the end of 2025.

“As a company, we’re committed to opening pathways for more people of color to buy their own homes and build generational wealth,” said Stacy Spann, head of Housing Access and Affordability Philanthropy for Wells Fargo. “Through WORTH and our collaboration with SDHC and the San Diego Homeownership Equity Collaborative, we’re working to accelerate actions and foster greater homeownership, wealth, and opportunity in San Diego.”

SDHC’s Homeownership Advisor will be available to answer questions, assess financial preparedness and, as needed, connect callers with organizations that provide the types of services they need to become ready to buy a home.

SDHC’s pilot program for middle-income BIPOC first-time homebuyers offers two options for assistance:

  • $40,000 in total assistance, consisting of a $20,000 deferred loan toward the down payment and a $20,000 grant toward closing costs; or
  • $20,000 grant toward the down payment and closing costs.

The pilot program can assist BIPOC households with income from 80% to 150% of San Diego’s Area Median Income, currently $110,250 to $175,200 per year for a family of four.

Households interested in applying for assistance through the pilot program should contact a loan officer at one of the participating lenders. A list of loan officers who have completed training for SDHC’s first-time homebuyer programs is available on SDHC’s website at

A grant from the National Fair Housing Alliance also supports the middle-income BIPOC first-time homebuyer pilot program.

SDHC’s existing first-time homebuyer program for the City of San Diego is available to assist households with low income, up to 80% of San Diego’s Area Median Income. The same loan officers at participating lenders are also the primary point of contact for the program for low-income households. SDHC’s Homeownership Advisor will also be available to assist households with SDHC’s programs for low-income first-time homebuyers.

Information about all of SDHC’s first-time homebuyer programs is available online at

The San Diego Homeownership Equity Collaborative consists of 14 community organizations, SDHC and the City-County Reinvestment Task Force. In fall 2022, the Collaborative announced the San Diego Homeownership Equity Project to expand homeownership opportunities for the San Diego region’s people of color.

First-Time Homebuyer Assistance

More than 6,000 households have become homeowners through SDHC’s first-time homebuyer and affordable for-sale housing programs in the City of San Diego since 1988.

Through SDHC’s homebuyer programs in the City of San Diego, 126 households became homeowners from June 30, 2020, through June 30, 2022. Of those, 74% were Latino; 14% were White; 9% were Asian; 2% were Black; and 1% were multiracial.


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Media Contact: 

Scott Marshall,

Vice President of Communications

San Diego Housing Commission


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