The City of Rancho Santa Margarita presently supports a variety of housing activities in partnership with the County of Orange and local community-based nonprofit organizations. For more information, please contact the City's Housing Programs Coordinator, Mike Linares, at 949-635-1800, ext. 6702.

First-Time Homebuyer Program

Presently the City of Rancho Santa Margarita does not offer any form of first time home buyer assistance, however, homebuyers can contact mortgage lenders to inquire if they offer first time homebuyer assistance. For more information, visit the First-Time Homebuyer Assistance page.

Financial Assistance Programs

Most lending institutions have some type of program that is geared toward helping first-time home buyers. Typically these programs will require lower down payment requirements. These loans are typically insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) so some additional underwriting criteria may be applicable. Contact a bank or a mortgage broker for additional information. Keep in mind that due to recent changes in federal regulations, underwriting and financing options may be limited.

Unlike larger Orange County communities, the City does not have or receive special funding that is specifically targeted to help lower income households buy a home. There are some nonprofit organizations that do offer some form of homebuyer assistance geared specifically for lower income households. For a list of these agencies, visit the Orange County Housing and Community Development website.
Minor Home Repair Program
In partnership with the Community Action Partnership of Orange County, the City of Rancho Santa Margarita has initiated a new program to assist qualified owners in making minor repairs to their primary residence. The Minor Home Repair Program is currently available to income eligible senior and disabled homeowners. Up to $5,000 may be granted for eligible home improvements that address basic health, safety, and accessibility concerns. Funding for this program is provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The program is administered by the City’s partner, the Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAP-OC). In addition to the City’s assistance, a homeowner may qualify for one of CAP-OC’s energy assistance programs including weatherization services and utility assistance. These programs are free of charge. Information regarding the City’s Minor Home Repair Program and CAP-OC’s Energy Assistance Programs can be found at www.capoc.org. Click here to view the program flyer.

Affordable Housing

The City works in conjunction with the Orange County Housing and Community Services Department to provide for affordable housing. Visit the Affordable Housing page for more information. To access information about rental assistance, please visit the Rental Assistance page.