Homebuyer Empowerment Loan Program (HELP)

Purchasing a home in Silicon Valley can be a big challenge for middle-income homebuyers – including teachers, healthcare workers and others.  To make it easier, Housing Trust Silicon Valley is assisting homebuyers by introducing the Homebuyer Empowerment Loan Program (HELP). This program will help households whose incomes are up to 140% of the Area Median Income (AMI) to purchase a market-rate primary residence.

HELP will assist middle-income first-time homebuyers with down payment assistance of up to 10% of the purchase price with a maximum purchase price of $800,000.  This loan is a thirty (30) year deferred loan plus a share of appreciation.  Borrowers will repay the principal loan amount plus a share of the appreciation based on the percentage of the loan borrowed through HELP.  No monthly principal or interest payments required!  Payment is deferred until Maturity Date is reached, sale of the home or refinance of the first mortgage.

The Program Market Area covers Santa Clara County and the San Mateo County cities of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park.


Maximum Gross Household Income by Household Size (2017)

Household Size 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Income Limit  $111,020 $126,910 $142,730 $158,620 $171,290 $184,030 $196,700 $209,370



Interested in applying? Visit the Homeownership Assistance page.


Homebuyer Empowerment Loan Program (HELP) 

Maximum Loan Amount Up to 10% of the purchase price
Interest Rate Share of Appreciation
Term/Maturity Date 30 years
Monthly Payments(Principal & Interest) Deferred
Program Market Area Available Santa Clara County (and San Mateo County cities of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park)
First-Time Buyer Status Required Yes
8-Hour Homebuyer Education Class Required Yes
Maximum Gross Household Income Limit Up to 140% of Area Median Income
Minimum Credit Score 680
Asset Limits $125,000
HTSV Pre-Approval Required Yes
Maximum Purchase Price of Home $800,000
Owner Occupancy Required Yes-Annual Monitoring/Compliance Check
First Mortgage Requirement 30 Year Fully Amortized Fixed Rate Mortgage Only- No Adjustable Rate or Interest Only Mortgages Allowed
Minimum/Maximum Loan to Value (LTV) 70% / 87%
Combined Loan to Value (CLTV) Cannot exceed 97%