San Francisco, one of the highest housing-cost markets in the country, has had some form of down-payment assistance for homebuyers since 1998. But over the last four years, the city has steadily increased the amount of money it dedicates to helping its citizens buy houses.
- Down payment assistance is growing practically everywhere.
- Most have some kind of income and/or sales price limitations -- but in certain markets, the income ceiling can exceed 180 percent of the median income for the area.
- More than a third of the programs don't include a first-time buyer requirement.
- Mortgage tax credit certificates (MCCs) only account for just 8 percent of the assistance programs, but they are among the fastest-growing form of aid.