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Sept. 22, 2003
DH-03 TK 054
Contact: Thomas Knox
(310) 243-3367
Email: tknox@csudh.edu


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA ADVISORY

CSU Dominguez Hills Student Enjoys Homeownership
Through Extra Credit Teacher Program

State program enables teachers to buy homes with low interest rates

CARSON, Calif. – The dual dream of becoming a teacher and owning a home has become a reality for Greg Calvert, a credentialed teacher from California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). Calvert teaches 7th grade special education students at Prairie Vista Middle School in Hawthorne. He and his wife have taken advantage of the California Extra Credit Teacher Program, a funding product administered by the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), which gives eligible teachers a below-market interest rate first loan and a deferred second below-market, forgivable interest CalHFA loan to cover down payment costs. The loans are designed to provide up to 100 percent of the financing necessary to purchase a home.

To announce the benefits of the program, California State Treasurer Phil Angelides, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, Hawthorne Mayor Larry Guidi and officials of CalHFA joined Calvert in front of his Hawthorne home on Wednesday, Sept. 17. Calvert discussed the process of moving from a teacher education student to a credentialed teacher and homeowner. He spoke of his satisfaction with CSUDH and their support of the home-buying program.

“Cal State Dominguez Hills has been instrumental in assisting me in reaching my educational and professional goals,” Calvert said. “If it were not for Dominguez Hills and my own personal effort, I would not have been eligible for the program and able to reap the benefits of the program.” He said he hoped the press conference would spread the news to more aspiring teachers. “If we reach as many as 50 aspiring teachers or as few as one, then it would still be a success,” Calvert said.

Calvert and his wife, Heather, who recently took a furlough with United Airlines and is currently a substitute teacher in the Hawthorne School District, were facing a tough real estate market, trying to find something both affordable and within a reasonable commute to work. Before he and Heather purchased their new home, Calvert commuted to work from Woodland Hills. Now, he has cut his commute time from more than one hour to less than 10 minutes, another benefit of working in the community where he lives.

By combining programs offered through the CalHFA and replenishment homes administered through the Century Freeway Community Housing program, the Calverts secured their dream home. “Another state program that continues to benefit me is the APLE Loan Cancellation Program,” Calvert said. Administered by the California Student Aid Commission, this program will enable him to erase $19,000 of student financial aid over the course of four years.

Calvert is working on a master’s degree in special education at Cal State Dominguez Hills. “Greg is an enthusiastic and thoughtful graduate student who is sensitive to his students’ life experiences,” said Carrie Ann Blackaller, Ph.D., and chair of the Cal State Dominguez Hills Graduate Education Department. “He has shown this by not only being a teacher in Hawthorne, but by being a neighbor, as well, to his students.”

Calvert’s advice to anyone considering a career in education and dreaming of owning a home, “Get your credential, then go get the keys to your new home.”

 

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