The department that helps Angelenos find and maintain housing announced Friday that it received a $26.8 million grant to support its subsidized-tax mortgage program.

The California Debt Limit Allocation Committee allocated the money to the city’s Mortgage Credit Certificate program, which assists low- and moderate-income residents in purchasing their first home. The program provides qualified home buyers a federal income tax credit of 20% of their annual mortgage interest.

“We are excited to receive these funds that will help up households in the city achieve the American dream of owning a home,” said Rushmore Cervantes, the general manager of the Housing & Community Investment Department of Los Angeles.

The MCC program is “very popular,” HCIDLA officials said. The program credits qualified recipients every year when they file their federal income tax returns. The MCC credit is available throughout the term of the original mortgage, typically 30 years.

According to HCIDLA, by reducing the recipients’ mortgage tax interest, the program gives home buyers additional income to qualify for a mortgage and increase their home-purchasing eligibility. The MCC program may be utilized on a stand-alone basis or in conjunction with the city’s down-payment purchase assistance, also known as “soft seconds,” loan programs.

People can apply by contacting one of HCIDLA’s approved participating lenders to be pre-qualified for a first mortgage and the MCC, call 213-808-8800 for more information, or visit www.hcidla.lacity.org.

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