First Responder? Educator?

AC Boost includes preferences for Alameda County First Responders and Educators to stay in Alameda County. Additionally, AC Boost also includes incentives to make it easier for buyers to (1) live closer to their work or (2) gain access to transit to get to work.

First Responders

To qualify as a “First Responder” household, at least one member of the household ust be a full-time active member or staff member of a Police, Fire, or Sheriff’s Department within Alameda County or employed as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Paramedic with a service area including Alameda County.


To qualify as an “Educator” household, at least one member of the household must be a full-time teacher, administrator, school district employee or staff member working for any Alameda County K-12 public school, which includes Charter schools and county/continuation schools, or community colleges and public universities within Alameda County, including extension campuses, or full-time licensed child care provider within Alameda County. Additional qualifications include educators working in licensed residential facilities for children/foster youth.

Are you ready?

Homebuyer Education Buyers must provide a Homebuyer Education Certificate as part of the full application process. Buyers may take courses from any County-approved agency or any HUD-certified agency not currently on the County’s list. Buyers must also participate in a mandatory AC Boost workshop if invited to submit a full application. Check out the County-approved homebuyer education programs to find one that works for you.

Welcome to AC Boost!

AC Boost is an innovative $50 million program designed to help middle income households afford to buy a home in Alameda County.

AC Boost gives buyers a boost, providing loans that are intended to bring homeownership within reach of households who would otherwise not be able to afford to purchase a home in Alameda County AC Boost provides loans of up to $210,000 (depending on buyer income and need). Loans are interest free and have no monthly payment during the time that a household owns their home. Instead, the program requires repayment only when (1) the 30 year term has ended, (2) the home is sold prior to the 30 year term ending, (3) the owner would like to take cash out of the home in a refinance or (4) the owner no longer wishes to occupy the home. 

AC Boost Step Process

Are you eligible?

To qualify for an AC Boost loan, you must meet the following requirements:

Alameda County Residency Buyers must live or work (at least 32 hours/week) in Alameda County or have previously lived in Alameda County and been displaced.

Displaced Households To qualify as a displaced household, the applicant’s household must provide proof of residency for at least one adult member who was displaced from their principal place of residence within Alameda County within ten years prior to their application date. Learn more about eligibility due to displacement in their Displaced Household FAQ.

First Time Homebuyer AC Boost defines a first-time homebuyer as: a household in which allj adults in the household are (1) purchasing the residential property; (2) will reside in the residential property as a principal residence; AND (3) had no ownership interest (sold or join) in a residential unit during the three-year period preceding the date of the AC Boost application, OR was a Displaced Homemaker.”

Income Limits To qualify, your household income must be at or below 120% of the Area Median Income (“AMI”) to qualify for up to $160,000. If your household income is at or below 100% AMI you may qualify for a larger loan of up to $210,000. The current income limits are:

Down Payment Assistance
(Income limits are updated annually, typically in in late spring)

Primary Residence Buyers must live in the home as their primary residence at least 10 (ten) months per year.

Asset Limit Households must have no more than $30,000 in Assets at time of application. Assets are defined by AC Boost include, but are not limited, to the following: savings accounts, checking accounts, Certificates of Deposit, the total balance of any joint accounts, money market or mutual fund accounts, in trust for accounts (amount accessible), stocks or bonds, gifts, cash on hand, amount used or borrowed (from a life insurance policy, IRA or retirement accounts), the amount of equity in any real estate owned, and other investments held by any occupant of the Applicant’s household age 18 or older. Assets to be excluded The cash surrender value of life insurance policy, the value of an IRA account, the value of retirement accounts (including but not limited to 401K and 403B accounts), the value of a special needs trust or the value of a 529 college savings may be excluded from an applicant’s assets for the evaluation of Pre- and Post- Purchase Assets. Assets between $60,000 and $300,000 must be invested in the purchase so that a household has no more than $60,000 in Assets after the purchase of the home.

AC Boost Participating Housing Counseling Agencies*

A-1 Community Housing Services

(510) 674-9227

Asian, Inc.

(510) 823-2178


(800) 777-7526

ECHO Housing

(855) ASK-ECHO (855-275-3246)

Habitat for Humanity

East Bay/Silicon Valley

(510) 803-3371

Neighborhood Housing Services, East Bay

(510) 237-6459

HID-HCA National

(510) 268-9792

Operation HOPE

(510) 434-5285

Project Sentinel

(888) 324-7468

San Francisco Housing

Development Corporation

(415) 822-1022

Framework (Online Course)

(855) 659-2267

Alliance Credit Counseling (Online Course)

Consumer Credit and Budget

Counseling (Online Course)

(888) 738-8233