December 11, 2015
The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) has prioritized resident homeownership as an agency-wide priority since 2004. Since that time, 134 Housing Authority residents – representing the traditional, low-income public housing (LIPH) and the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program – have closed on their homes. To date in 2015, ten program participants have closed on their homes, while an additional two are expected to close by year’s end.
This program enables working families to become self-sufficient and realize the homeownership dream. Despite the recent national economic recession, HACP Homeownership Program Manager Jack Lewis considers it a great time to consider purchasing your own home in the city of Pittsburgh.
“Housing prices are beginning to increase in Pittsburgh; however, they remain relatively affordable and mortgage interest rates are very reasonable,” Mr. Lewis said. “Some lending programs are offering interest rates as low as four percent and some of the mortgage products for first-time buyers offer down payment and closing cost assistance.”
HACP is proud to offer qualified residents and, in certain cases – applicants, access to a program with a proven record of success. This year the program has assisted HACP clients to purchase home in neighborhoods located throughout the City of Pittsburgh. Clients have closed on single-family homes of a variety of styles in neighborhoods such as Hazelwood, Carrick, the Hill District, Sheraden, Homewood and Lincoln Place.
Former HACP resident Dannielle Coleman purchased a single-family home in Lincoln Place this year after successfully completing HACP’s Homeownership Program. She said that the home ownership process can be stressful at time, especially for someone working full time and raising children, but said that the investment has already paid off.
“I love it. I’m glad I took the steps to become a homeowner and my kids are so happy to have their own rooms and somewhere that we can call our home,” Ms. Coleman said. Adding, “I was tired of paying rent knowing that the payment can be just as high or higher than a mortgage payment. I’ll now have my own asset – something I can pass on to my kids, have stability, and make home in which to create a lifetime of memories.”
To effectively operate the program, HACP relies on the support and cooperation of a wide variety of partner organizations, including but not limited to: The Bartko Foundation and the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Our partner agencies help to provide down payment assistance and closing cost grants to low-income buyer that can be coordinated with the Homeownership Program benefits.
The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh also provides services that are key to the program’s success. These include home buyer counseling, credit counseling and credit restoration services. Clients are required to complete a home-buyer education class conducted by the Urban League. HACP also works with the East Liberty Development Inc., Garfield Jubilee, Habitat for Humanity, Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, Neighborworks of Western Pennsylvania and others in our efforts to support the dream of ownership.
The HACP Homeownership Program maintains an ongoing relationship with a variety of local banks, including Dollar Bank, First Niagara Bank, PNC, and others. These banks and several others have provided mortgage financing for participants in the Program.
Housing Authority residents who are in good standing and willing to take the steps toward owning their own home are encouraged to contact Jack Lewis at 412-456-5062.
Tenant Minimum Eligibility Requirements Must Include All Of the Following:
- Current Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh resident (Low-Income Public Housing or Housing Choice Voucher Program) or qualified applicant with letter of program eligibility;
- First-time home buyer;
- Minimum $17,000 year income and working full-time (30 hours week, for at least the last year) for any resident, including senior citizens and persons with disabilities; and,
- In order to receive cash benefits such as closing cost assistance, the single-family home they wish to purchase must be located within the City of Pittsburgh.
For more information, contact Michelle Jackson, Chief Community Affairs Officer, at 412-456-5058.