Press Releases

Housing Help for Orange County Teachers Celebrated

County Executive Office - Press Release

February 23, 2001

Housing Help for Orange County Teachers

Ken Domer 714.480.2990
Colleen Haggerty
Fannie Mae 626.396.5225

Housing & Community Development Department

California State Treasurer Philip Angelides, State Senator Joseph Dunn, Assemblyman Lou Correa,  local officials and representatives from Fannie Mae “Welcome Home” first teacher home purchase

(Santa Ana, CA) – Monte Vista Elementary School teacher Emily Benavides and her husband David were welcomed into their new home today by California State Treasurer Philip Angelides as one of the first borrowers through a new homeownership incentive program for Orange County teachers. The “Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program” offers reduced rate mortgages and $7,500 in down payment assistance to help teachers, principals, and assistant principals purchase homes in the high-cost Orange County housing market as incentive to continue teaching in local low-performing schools. Joining the Benavides and Treasurer Angelides at the new home on South Daisy Street were State Senator and Chair of the Senate Housing Committee, Joseph Dunn, Assemblyman Lou Correa, Housing & Community Development Director Paula Burrier-Lund, and representatives from the Southern California Home Financing Authority (SCHFA) and Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE), the nation’s largest source of financing for home mortgages.

The Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program was created as an incentive to help recruit and retain credentialed public school teachers, principals, and assistant principals at low-performing schools. State Treasurer Philip Angelides proposed the program, which received approval by the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee in September 2000. The state-wide program is funded for $150 million over four years and can be combined with additional housing incentives by participating local governments to further leverage resources to help teachers afford to purchase homes in the communities where they teach.

“This program helps to address two critical needs in our State - the need to provide meaningful incentives for qualified teachers to take on the challenges of teaching where the need is greatest, and the need to increase homeownership opportunities for an important segment of California’s working population that is finding itself increasingly priced out of the State’s housing market,” stated State Treasurer Philip Angelides.

To help finance the Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program in Southern California, Fannie Mae purchased $14.2 million in single family mortgage revenue bonds from SCHFA, a joint powers authority between the Counties of Orange and Los Angeles. The bond proceeds provide reduced rate mortgages and down payment assistance for the Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program. Approximately $7 million of these funds are available to Orange County teachers.

Specific homeownership incentives provided through the program include:
  • Reduced Rate Mortgages – eligible teachers and principals can receive financing for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with an interest rate as low as 7.2 percent with a first year buy-down rate of 6.2 percent.
  • Forgivable Down Payment Assistance – eligible teaches and principals will receive a $7,500 loan to help pay for down payment costs. This loan is forgivable after completing five-years of teaching in the low-performing school.
"As the local housing market tightens, we need to strategically leverage public and private resources to help ensure teachers and other working families are not priced out of living in Orange County. Fannie Mae's purchase of these mortgage revenue bonds is a valuable tool for local lenders and municipalities to do this," said Barbara Zeidman, director of Fannie Mae's "House Orange County" investment plan, a five-year, $6 billion effort by the company to help 60,000 Orange County families obtain affordable housing by 2004.

To be eligible for the Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program, teachers, principals, and assistant principals agree to serve in a K-12 grade public Orange County school ranked in the bottom 30 percent based on statewide testing scores. Borrowers must be first time home buyers, earning no more than 120 percent of the area median income ($71,765 for a one-to-two person household, $82,414 for a household with three or more).

"The Orange County Board of Supervisors has made affordable housing a top priority and the Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program is another step in making homes affordable to the hard working teachers, principals, and assistant principals who would otherwise be priced out of the Orange County market,” stated Paula Burrier-Lund, H&CD Director.The first teacher in Orange County to actually close escrow and move-in is Monte Vista Elementary School Teacher Emily Benavides and her husband David, a Youth Minister with the Non-Profit Hispanic Ministry Center. A graduate of Biola University, Emily has taught fourth grade at Monte Vista for two years and her new home is only two blocks away from the school. The couple formerly rented an apartment in the neighborhood and decided to permanently locate in Santa Ana to continue their community involvement and stay close to Emily’s school.

“As a former educator myself, I know the importance of attracting and retaining qualified teachers to serve in schools with the greatest need,” stated Cynthia P. Coad, Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “To gain qualified teachers and provide them the means to live in Orange County through the Extra Credit Program is a great success and a worthy accomplishment."

Interested teachers can learn more about the Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program and receive a list of eligible low-performing schools in Orange County on the internet, at or ochousing. The Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program mortgages are available through participating lenders.