Will Get Down Payment Help; Affordable Housing; 3,000 New Jobs with $380 Million in Recovery Funds

STEELTON, PA – June 10, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) – Governor Edward G. Rendell today said 1,000 families will receive thousands of dollars to help make down payments on new homes, more than 5,000 families in dozens of communities across Pennsylvania will find affordable housing, and some 3,000 workers will have jobs with the award today of more than $380 million in federal economic recovery funds. 

“This is great news for families who have been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis in Pennsylvania, as the investments we are announcing today will help provide affordable housing for tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians,” said Governor Rendell, who made the announcement at a former school in Steelton that will be converted into apartments. “This is clear evidence that President Obama’s stimulus bill and Congress’ efforts to address the impact of this housing emergency are making a real difference in Pennsylvania. 

“It’s also a great day for families who need help coming up with a down payment for a new home. This creative, new program represents the spirit of partnership and innovation the President challenged us to employ when he signed the stimulus bill.” 

Governor Rendell said the Keystone First Program, an innovative down payment assistance program from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, will provide up to $6,000 in down payment help to at least 1,000 first time homebuyers. 

“It’s much harder to get a mortgage today than it was only a year ago,” the Governor said. “Most banks are looking for 20 percent down, or even more. As a result, stable families looking for their first home can’t come up with money up front to purchase a home. That changes with the stimulus-funded First Time Homebuyer Tax Rebate program.” 

Winn Development, a Boston-based national affordable-housing development company, will be working to help convert the Felton Building in Steelton to apartments. It will be the company’s 10th project in Pennsylvania. 

“Winn Development commends the commonwealth and PHFA for being among the first states to implement the stimulus program in this way,” said Cheryl Stulpin, a vice president with the company. “What they are doing is going to have a big impact on the people and communities of the commonwealth.” 

Governor Rendell said the funding for the 99 projects that will make affordable housing more prevalent in the commonwealth comes from the Neighborhood Stabilization and Low Income Housing Tax programs. 

Neighborhood Stabilization will provide $57 million to help rehabilitate properties in the state that were subject to foreclosure as a result of subprime mortgage lending practices. NSP funding – authorized by the federal Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development – will assist 650 families through 28 projects undertaken by local governments across the commonwealth. The funds will allow local governments and their partners to acquire, rehabilitate and resell foreclosed properties, and to redevelop vacant and blighted sites. 

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit program will provide $320 million in stimulus funding to help put more than 3,580 families in affordable rental housing units. The funding will be made available by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, which will allow more than 3,580 families to move into affordable rental housing units. 

“With all of this money, people in Easton, Williamsport, Lebanon, Uniontown, Erie, and elsewhere will soon have safe, affordable places to raise families, get back on their feet and, most importantly, someplace to call home,” Governor Rendell said. 

For more information on the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, visit www.phfa.org

For information on the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and other programs administered by DCED, visit www.NewPA.com or call 1-866-466-3972. 

Author: Luke Webber (DCED) 717-783-1132; Chuck Ardo (GOV) 717-783-1116

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