Bill to Allow Illegal Immigrants Access to First-Time Home Loans

( – An assemblyman from California is proposing an expansion to current legislation on home loan qualification – an expansion that could allow illegal immigrants to secure home loans for themselves.

The proposal – Assembly Bill 1840 – proposed by Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, expands a California housing initiative called the California Dream for All Shared Appreciation Loans. The program allows qualified first-time home buyers to secure a loan to purchase a home that permits 20% of the purchase price to not accumulate interest or have required monthly installment payments. Borrowers will instead pay back the original amount of the loan on top of a 20% increase in the value of the home when the owners decide to get refinancing for the property or sell it off altogether. The initiative is relatively new, and was only launched at the beginning of last year.

Arambula’s proposed bill adds a simple but important caveat to the guidance for qualification into the program – that an applicant’s citizenship status cannot be the sole reason for their disqualification from the initiative. The Democratic assemblyman reasoned that it is unfair for undocumented individuals who meet the other qualifications for the program to be excluded from it just because of the “ambiguity” of their citizenship status.

However, the bill is also facing opposition from other state lawmakers who stress that California programs should first prioritize helping legal residents or legitimate citizens of the state.

“Give priority to those who are here in our state legally,” State Senator Briah Dahle said in a statement against AB 1840. She called the proposal an “insult” to many Californians who are “left behind and priced out of homeownership.”

California is one of the country’s worst states in terms of access to home ownership, ranking 49th in housing units per resident. This means that homes come with much heftier price tags compared to residential real estate in other parts of the U.S. The situation is so dire that the California Department of Health has designated the lack of affordable housing in the state as a public health crisis.

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