LOS ANGELES – The median home value in L.A. County is currently about $618,500. That’s a high mortgage for home buyers trying to break into the housing market. 

Like many renters, Joseph Park is hoping to find a way to buy his own home. He’s been a renter for only two years.

“In North Hollywood would be really nice. I definitely like the area, it’s very up and coming,” said Park.

Park says he’s tired of paying off someone else’s mortgage as rent prices continue to go up in Southern California.

“I don’t like putting money toward rent. So, putting the money toward a mortgage is something that I would really like to do,” said Park.

That’s why he went to the 2019 Faith and Community Empowerment Homeownership Fair. At the event, potential first-time home buyers in Los Angeles like Park learn about how they can qualify and receive up to $90,000 in down payment assistance and other government sponsored programs.

Over the years, F.A.C.E has connected 10,000 home buyers with about $1.7 million in down payment assistance.

“Income credit challenges, down payment are all things that prevent them from even dreaming of homeownership, but this fair actually provides the expertise, the guidance, the hand-holding and maybe more importantly, the hope that this dream could turn into a reality,” said President of F.A.C.E, Hyepin Im.

Im says most lenders have about two employees who are trained on government sponsored programs when it comes to buying a home. She says more renters who attend local homeownership fairs might see that homeownership could be within reach with the help of assistance programs lenders contribute to as well.

“I was actually waiting for market prices to go down, if I was to buy a house by myself but to have assisted programs like this really appeals to me to buy a home now,” Park said.

Park says the experience opened his eyes to the possibilities, and now, he’s on the hunt for his first, home sweet home.

Future home buyers interested in learning more about down payment assistance and other first-time home buyer programs can attend F.A.C.E.’s Homeownership Fair that will take place on October 19 in Pomona.