Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez introduced a motion Wednesday that would instruct city agencies to report back on the feasibility of establishing an Individual Development Accounts Program that would create matched savings accounts provided to low and moderate income earners to save toward purchasing a home.

The program would provide loans to cover the down payment and closing and acquisition costs for first-time home buyers.

“Homeownership is a cornerstone of our economy, but far too many in our community do not have the ability to attain this goal,” Rodriguez said. “We have a duty to bridge the housing gap and support a pathway for working families to fulfill their dream of homeownership.”

Qualifying participants would be required to contribute a minimum of one percent of the home price toward the down payment. Rodriguez’s office said that given the median home price in Los Angeles County, a one percent contribution toward the down payment is approximately $5,700.

The motion says nearly one-third of Angeleno renters spend 50 percent or more of their monthly income on rent, and Los Angeles has the lowest per capita homeownership rate of any major American city.

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