District 1 News: Councilman Wilson
Hello everyone, This month, I’m excited to share some information about OwnPGH, an extraordinary new program, which began Feb. 1, for prospective homebuyers established by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP). The goal of this program is to decrease the costs for first-time homebuyers, making owning a home more accessible and more secure for income- qualified applicants.
OwnPGH was awarded $15 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to put towards this purpose, making it among the largest regional homebuyer assistance programs ever created in southwestern Pennsylvania.
OwnPGH aims to provide financial assistance to low- and moderate-income, first-time homebuyers. Applicants to this program who make 80% of the area’s median income or less can receive up to $50,000 for their first-time home purchase.
According to 2021 URA data, this would include single individuals earning up to $47,500 a year, or couples earning up to $54,300 a year. Qualifying income scales up, depending on the number of dependents in a household.
Successful applicants for an Own-PGH grant may only carry a debt-to-income ratio less than 43%. This ratio is a calculation that determines whether the prospective homebuyer can afford to make the mortgage and loan payments they would be taking on, along with any existing bills such as credit card or car payments. It is a way for the URA to ensure that prospective homebuyers will go on to become successful homeowners.
Further qualifications for the Own-PGH program ensure that applicants will use the property only for their private residence. Renting out properties will not be permitted. Only single-family housing is eligible under the program, though single units within multi-unit residences like condos do qualify.
If a current homeowner needs assistance with mortgage financing, Own-PGH, through the HACP’s Homeownership Program, can help by offering a second, deferred mortgage of up to $40,000. This mortgage would require no regular payment from the borrower, carries a 0% interest rate, and will be forgiven at a rate of 10% of the original balance each year.
Per program guidelines, homeowners who receive assistance from OwnPGH and participate in the HACP program for 10 years or more will have their second, deferred mortgages forgiven completely. This deferred mortgage will require a lower debt-to-income ratio of 35% or less.
If you are interested in learning more about the OwnPGH program, you can reach out to the URA’s Residential & Consumer Lending (Housing Inquiries) division at (412) 255-6694 ext. 6721, visit its website for housing resources at ura.org/pages/housing or follow our office on social media.
If you have any questions or concerns, call us at (412) 255-2135, email us at [email protected], or find us on Facebook and Twitter. My staff and I wish are looking forward to serving all of you!