PHA Homeownership Program Sales are at a Record High Residents Buying Homes and Building Generational Wealth
(Philadelphia, PA – June 21, 2021) – June is National Homeownership month. The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has assisted more than 500 residents become homeowners. This year, despite the pandemic, sales are strong. PHA’s Homeownership Opportunities Program is experiencing the highest number of sales in the last 10 years. By the end of the June, 40 PHA residents will have purchased homes.
Dwayne Fair recently bought the North Philadelphia home that his family had leased for nearly 52 years from the PHA. After Fair’s mom had become ill in 2012, she asked her children to buy the home for the family who had been living there since 1968. She has raised her eight children there and this home is woven into the family’s history. Fair promised his mother that he would he would find some way to buy the house.
“Mr. Fair embodies the definition of self-determination,” said Kelvin A. Jeremiah, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. “He and other families are learning important skills that will not only be applied to their new financial journey, but also will be passed onto their own personal family members and friends. In addition, our comprehensive homeownership program and partners help them to qualify for the best possible mortgage rates, and avoid some of the past pitfalls to homeownership.”
The Authority offers three paths to homeownership – one for public housing residents, one for Housing Choice Voucher residents and a third called Mobility Homeownership Program, which is open to any PHA resident.
Every new homeowner went through PHA’s homeownership readiness process, where they saved $2,000 through new budgeting skills, and completed credit counseling to obtain at least a 620 middle credit score. They also received one-on-one housing counseling and a pre-approval letter from a lender or bank. After completing the readiness process, the resident met with a PHA homeownership counselor to discuss their options with PHA.
Qualified residents also receive mortgage and down payment assistance through several programs, including the Mobility Homeownership Program, First Front Door Grant, PhillySEEDS (PHA’s nonprofit affiliate), Philly First Home, and lenders/banks such as PNC and Santander Bank.