Originally published: January 3, 2019
South Pittsburgh Reporter

The Housing Authority City of Pittsburgh’s (HACP) homeownership program helped 21 low-to-moderate income families purchase homes last year, a five-fold increase since the program was relaunched in 2014.

All 21 households received closing cost assistance and 12 received a soft second mortgage – a forgivable mortgage with no monthly payment provisions for a term of 10 years. The average amount of closing cost assistance granted was $5,157 and the average amount of the second deferred mortgage issued was $27,293. The sales prices of the homes purchased range from $143,500 to $67,500.

The homes are located throughout the City of Pittsburgh, including the following communities: Hazelwood, North Side, Lincoln-Larimer, South Side, Hill District, Knoxville, Garfield, Homewood, Carrick, Crafton Heights, West End and Sheraden.

HACP’s Homeownership Program helps qualified low to moderate income families overcome obstacles such as poor credit and inability to save by partnering with the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh to provide home buyer education workshops and pre-purchase counseling. Participants in the program are also eligible to receive up to $8,000 in closing cost assistance which can also be coordinated with additional closing cost and/or down payment assistance from organizations including but not limited to The Bartko Foundation, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, FHLB First Front Door Grant Program, The PNC Grant, and Dollar Bank’s 3-2-1 Match Program.

The program helped four households with homes in 2014, and 16 households in 2017.

The program maintains an ongoing relationship with a variety of local lenders including Dollar Bank, First Commonwealth Bank, PNC Bank and many others whom have provided low interest fixed-rate mortgages to program participants.

The program is available to current HACP Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) or Low Income Public Housing (LIPH) residents as well as low-to-moderate income families that are qualified to receive Housing Choice Voucher or LIPH rental assistance, meeting the minimum eligibility requirements.

Any first-time home buyer who is currently and continuously employed full time for at least one year, with a minimum household income of $17,000 annually is eligible to enroll in the program. Employment exceptions apply to elderly and disabled households but there are no minimum income exceptions.

In order to purchase a home through the program, clients go through a process that consists of:

• Completing HUD/ HACP approved Homeownership Counseling;

• Securing a first mortgage pre-approval which will require the applicant to have a good credit profile;

• Receiving a letter of eligibility from the Occupancy Department prior to entering into the Homeownership Program (Non Section 8 and LIPH participants); and,

• Purchasing a home within the City of Pittsburgh

Families and/or individuals interested in obtaining support toward their homeownership goals may contact DeAnna Vaughn at 412-456-5062 to discuss participation in HACP’s Homeownership Program. Current HACP residents are encouraged to speak to their assigned HACP FSS Service Coordinator. Families and/or individuals in need of credit counseling or debt repair are asked to contact the Urban League of Pittsburgh at 412-227-4179.

Complete eligibility requirements and program information is available at http://www.hacp.org.