Recently, a California Assemblymember, Joaquin Arambula, introduced a new bill aimed at combating California’s homelessness problem. According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than 181,399 are homeless in the state.

The problem people have with this law is that it also provides for illegal immigrants, letting them find housing for cheap. An additional issue people have is that these undocumented immigrants get home loans with zero interest while American citizens pay 8%/

Joaquin Arambula Introduced A New Bill

Dr. Arambula is a member of California’s Chair of Assembly Budget Subcommittee with a primary goal of improving healthcare access and affordable housing. He made a step to accomplish his mission by introducing a bill that made housing easier to acquire.

Source: Reddit

The Assembly Bill 1840 wants to expand homeownership for low-income individuals in California, including illegal immigrants. So, people who cross America’s border can now become permanent residents in the state.

About The Assembly Bill 1840

Currently, undocumented immigrants find it difficult to purchase a home due to not having any papers or social security numbers. Therefore, loan companies and programs set higher interest rates for these individuals or disqualify them entirely.

Source: Freepik

The new law modifies this issue, making it illegal to disqualify an unlawful immigrant from participating in state loan programs. However, this law mainly applies to opportunities that make it easier to acquire a home.

California’s Dream For All Program

When making this law, Arambula had one particular program in mind – the Dream For All program. This is a loan-sharing program where a select number of applicants are given financial assistance from a pool of money.

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This money aims to help the selected people pay the down payment for a home, making housing much more accessible. Out of compassion, Arambula created it in a way that an immigrant’s undocumented status wouldn’t disqualify them from getting that much-needed down payment.

Why So Much Compassion For Illegal Immigrants?

Many internet users are curious about why California is compassionate towards illegal immigrants. After all, these individuals entered the US without proper documentation and are not supposed to be in the country.

Source: X/AsmArambula

In reality, most illegal immigrants entered the country in search of a better place. These people also work extremely hard, making up 9% of California’s workforce. Some, argue that they deserve a permanent home since they are peaceful and hardworking.

Meet The Criteria, Get A Home

Dr. Arambula also removed ambiguity from the bill and set strict criteria that anyone could follow. Once implemented, AB 1840 guarantees any selected applicant that meets the requirements assistance to cover their homes’ down payment.

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So, what are the new criteria to receive money to own a house in California? They’re easy to meet but also strict!

Applicants Must Be First-Time Homebuyers

Arambula realized that people taking advantage of the program already own homes and are capable of getting more. They merely use the free downpayment money to finance their wealth, taking money from the less fortunate as the rich get richer.

Source: Linkedin

So, the first requirement is that applicants for this program must be first-time homebuyers. Therefore, financially buoyant people cannot “steal” aid from those who genuinely need it.

Beneficiaries Will Be Chosen Lottery Style

Arambula also noted that illegal immigrants face racism and prejudice when it comes to choosing who gets the program. Essentially, Californians are more likely to qualify for this program compared to illegal immigrants in the same situation.

Source: YouTube/The Leader-Post

How did Arambula fix the problem? The assembly members implemented a lottery-style selection process. This system aims to promote equality and ensure people are chosen based on their eligibility, not their status.

Arguments Supporting The Bill

Besides rewarding illegal immigrants for contributing to California’s workforce, there are some worthwhile arguments in favor of the bill. One is that optimizing the standard needed to get a home in California makes it possible for lesser families to also capitalize on the opportunity.

Source: X/AsmArambula

At the same time, the more houses that get occupied, the more developers will want to invest in California’s real estate market. Therefore, the bill promises a more financially buoyant and happy economy.

People Are Already Interested

The new changes will undoubtedly have more applicants, as the previous year had many applicants. In 2023, the loan pool was $300 million, but the program ended within just 11 days as desperate applicants exhausted the funds.

Source: Vecteezy

Now that Arambula has lowered the requirements to capitalize on the loan, more applicants are expected. However, the lottery-style disbursement has replaced the first-come-first-sereved system, allowing even people who applied days later to get the necessary aid.

Concerns About The Bill

Califonia’s AB 1040 comes amid the border control crisis in the US. Essentially, border patrol officers complain about how they are overwhelmed by the influx of illegal immigrants entering the country.

Source: Linkedin

Political commentators and internet users express worry that this increased accommodation for illegal immigrants may backfire. It may make Califonia a target as asylum-seekers flood to the state for a better life. Therefore, California may either adopt new policies or suffer degradation.

The Loans Aren’t Free

The California Dream For All loan will provide assistance by paying up to 20% of the home value, or a maximum of $150,000. There’s a misconception that applicants, especially immigrants, don’t have to repay the loan, but they do.

Source: Flickr/Got Credit

Multiple sources indicate that the loan has a 10-year period where borrowers pay installmentally. This gradual payment includes the money they received plus a percentage as the house appreciates. There’s also a 6-months grace period for late repayments, but afterward, there will be some penalties.

The Program Could Cost California Billions

As for 2024, California has allocated $250 million to test the new proposal brought by Arambula. Undoubtedly, the program will receive many applicants, but people worry that its success could cost the state billions.

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If that’s the case, people want to know how the government plans to finance the project. Will it come from taxpayers’ dollars, or are foreign sponsors handing the bill? The people feel spending their money to shelter illegal immigrants may be an irresponsible use of the funds.

Only Time Will Tell

There are no objections to Arambula’s proposal to make housing more affordable for undocumented immigrants. It’s also worth noting that the initiative also aims to make it easier for other low-income Californians to find a home. So, everybody wins!

Source: Shutterstock

Once housing becomes more available, investors will flock to Califonia. But on the other hand, this prosperity also makes the state a target for asylum-seekers searching for greener pastures.