SANTA ANA ( — Orange County may be one of the hottest housing markets in the country, but at least one O.C. city is offering as much as $40,000 to help out first-time home buyers.

The city of Santa Ana is hosting an informational meeting Tuesday night to introduce prospective homeowners to its down payment assistance program. A second meeting is scheduled for April 11, with both events at 6 p.m.

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Santa Ana’s down payment program is offering up to $40,000 at zero percent interest rate to first-time homebuyers who have been pre-qualified for a first mortgage and can make a down payment of at least 3 percent.

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The buyer must complete a homebuyer counseling program, and the purchase must be for a home in Santa Ana for no more than $499,000 for an existing or new home or condo.

The program does have income requirements that will be discussed at both informational meetings, which will be at Santa Ana City Council Chambers, 22 Civic Center Plaza, in Santa Ana.

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For more information, go to Santa Ana’s Down Payment Assistance Loan Program, or call (714) 667-2250.