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In Al Taubenberger, Cherelle Parker, Council News, Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez, Mark Squilla, News by admin

Philadelphia, May 9, 2019 Today City Officials, Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and community leaders announced the Philly First Home program with expanded down payment assistance of up to $10,000.

“The Philly First Home program is one more tool in the City’s toolbox to help make home ownership a reality for our residents,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I want to thank our financing partners for allowing us to increase the amount of down payment assistance available to eligible home buyers. I look forward to seeing this vital program grow and help even more Philadelphians own their own homes.”

This program was designed to help neighborhood sustainability in Philadelphia by making homeownership more affordable. The Philly First Home programs funds can be used towards a down payment and/or closing costs.

“Homeownership is often the most significant investment an individual or family will ever make, and we need to make sure everyone has equal access to the long-term financial stability homeownership can provide,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) said. “Unfortunately, rising costs and a refusal to raise the minimum wage in Harrisburg are forcing more residents to become renters and inhibiting their ability to save and plan for the future. Philadelphia can and must continue to step up and do all we can to expand economic and housing opportunities to all people.”

Philly First Home program will provide up to $10,000 (or 6% of the purchase price, whichever is less) in assistance. The recipient must:

  • Be a first-time homebuyer or a buyer who has not owned a home for at least three years
  • Be a resident of the City of Philadelphia for three years and must purchase a home in Philadelphia
  • Have a household income at or below 120% Area Median Income (AMI)
  • Complete housing counseling at a DHCD funded housing counseling agency

Councilmember Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez (7th District) said: “We are proud of Philadelphia’s relatively high homeownership rates, despite our city’s poverty. Providing the small boost enabling more of our neighbors to become homeowners, this is another great tool in our toolbox to expand affordable housing options in our city.”

Financial assistance provided by the program will become a lien on the property subordinated to the first mortgage. During the first 15 years of ownership, the lien will become due and payable upon the sale or lease of the home or the refinancing of the first mortgage to take cash out of the property. Upon completion of the 15 years of ownership, the lien shall be forgiven.

“Our residents deserve to achieve the American Dream of owning their home and this fund will afford them ability to buy homes with access to money for a down payment,” Councilmember Mark F. Squilla (1st District) said.

Councilmember Cherelle L. Parker (9th District) added: “Studies show that homeownership is an important tool in helping families build wealth and get ahead financially, yet achieving that piece of the ‘American Dream’ is just beyond the reach of many Philadelphians. I applaud Mayor Kenney, Council President Clarke and all of my Council colleagues for recognizing the importance of incentivizing homeownership, which will ultimately help stabilize and preserve our neighborhoods for many years to come.”

Interested future homeowners can contact DHCD funded Housing Counseling agencies starting June 10, 2019. To learn more about DHCD’s housing counseling agencies, please visit:

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Watch the Press conference:

Photo Credit: Jared Piper/PHLCouncil

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