Martis Fund Down Payment Assistance Program Helps Local Families Achieve Homeownership Dreams

In October of 2018, Sierra Business Council was awarded the role of program administrator for the Martis Fund’s Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Program (DPAP). This program provides down payment assistance for median income Tahoe/Truckee locals hoping to purchase a home in the region. 

The criteria for eligibility for this program is pretty simple: you must make less than 180% of Placer County’s median income, and you must make 51% or more of that money within Tahoe Truckee Unified School District boundaries. For a household size of 4, your annual gross income must be less than $150,480. COMM Truckee Home Free Use

Through SBC’s administration, the Martis Fund will loan eligible families 10% of their home’s purchase price up to $50,000 with a deferred payment structure. You can find additional pertinent information on the payback options, requirements and qualifications here.

In the meantime, I want to speak to the incredible impact this program has had throughout the region since we began administering it, (prior to SBC’s role as program admin, Placer County managed the program successfully as well).

The DPAP fills a hole in the lending landscape by offering locals a chance to build equity, jump into the housing market, and best of all, live where they work. The guidelines for the Martis Fund’s DPAP are written to target what many call the “missing middle”, made up of would-be-buyers – locals, families, professionals, contractors, teachers, nurses – who make enough to qualify for the purchase of a home here in Truckee/Tahoe but do not have the funds to complete a 10% or 20% down payment that is standard in most home purchases. Since October, 2018, SBC has closed 20 loans, a total of nearly $1m of funding from the Martis Fund. 

SBC is emphatically grateful to the Martis Fund for the opportunity to bring such a rewarding program into the community, and for the chance to help 20 locals purchase such an important asset and to stay here, in Truckee/Tahoe, home.

We’re happy to report that just last month, the Martis Fund allocated an additional $500,000 for the Down Payment Assistance Program. Interested local homebuyers can find out more, including how to take advantage of this incredible opportunity, by going to our website or attending a class in our office on April 21st at 5:30pm. Register by emailing Jess Carr at