PITTSBURGH, PA, October 12, 2007 – Homeowners in Allegheny County and Southside Clairton will be the beneficiaries of two grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank Pittsburgh) aimed at helping them improve the condition and appearance of their homes.
FHLBank and sponsors ACTION Housing and the Community Economic Development Corporation of Clairton have arranged $115,000 in homeowner rehabilitation grants for 23 homes in Southside Clairton. Separately, the Bank and ACTION Housing have arranged $100,000 in grants for ten homes in Allegheny County.
The 23 homes in Southside Clairton are located in a 20-block area bounded by St. Clair Avenue, Miller Avenue, Thompson Avenue and State Street. The homes covered by the second grant are spread across Allegheny County.
Although the median year of construction for single-family homes in Pennsylvania is 1957, the national average is 1971, said John Bendel, director of Community Investment at FHLBank. “Much of the housing stock in the Keystone State is in need of substantial repair or rehabilitation. These two grants will help homeowners of limited income stretch their dollars and in some cases, literally put a better roof over their heads, creating a very noticeable and lasting impact in their neighborhoods,” Bendel said.
“These grants will help whole communities, not just individual homeowners,” said Congressman Mike Doyle (PA-14). “Improvements in our housing stock are investments that provide positive returns for all of us. I want to commend FHLBank, ACTION Housing and the Community Economic Development Corporation of Clairton for their important work.”
Merchants National Bank of Kittanning, a local member of the FHLBank financial institution cooperative, is distributing the funds to the sponsoring agencies, which in turn will make the money available to qualified homeowners with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income. A maximum of $15,000 can be disbursed per homeowner, who must live in the home being improved.
Twenty-nine applications requesting a total of $4.79 million were received as part of FHLBank’s 2007 Pilot Homeowner Rehabilitation Program, which had set aside $1 million for initial funding.
To qualify for the rehab grants, rehab work performed on local homes must accomplish one or more of the following objectives: 1) provide energy efficiency, 2) improve accessibility for the handicapped, the elderly or both, 3) complement public/private investment to revitalize a community or neighborhood, 4) reflect a new or existing community plan or strategy, 5) result in more than 50% of the homeowners assisted having incomes at or below 50% of the area median income, or 6) target blocks with less than 10% vacancy or blocks where development projects are in the pipeline and will reduce the vacancy rate to less than 10 percent.
With assets of approximately $82 billion, FHLBank Pittsburgh, a government-sponsored enterprise created by Congress in 1932, serves 332 financial institution members across its three-state district of Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It is one of twelve FHLBanks, all cooperatively owned banks established to provide a steady stream of low-cost housing finance. More recently, the Bank’s mission has grown to include financing for business startup and expansion as well as a variety of community and economic development needs. The Bank is based at 601 Grant Street in Downtown Pittsburgh.