The journey to homeownership is not an easy one. The six new homeowners have collectively completed more than 2,100 hours of sweat equity and attended 50 financial literacy and first-time homeowner workshops. They have saved more than $20,000 towards their closing costs, secured $40,000 in first-time homebuyer grants, and received $16,000 of Individual Development Account Match dollars.
Community engagement was a crucial part of this project’s success, as the original scope of seven houses raised some concerns for neighbors worried about density and access to parking. Habitat Philadelphia responded by conducting listening sessions, responding to feedback, and adjusting the project to the six homes now completed.
“This journey has taught me the true meaning of patience, perseverance, and strength,” said Tyreeka Richards, one of the Page Street homeowners. “I’m grateful to the wonderful staff of Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke for working together to ensure that my family and I now have a place to call home.”
Moving the needle on Philadelphia’s affordable housing crisis requires collaboration and a shared sense of mission. For example, four of the six Page Street homeowners are transitioning from the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s rental program, with three receiving grants from PhillySEEDS, a charitable subsidiary of PHA.
The affordable mortgages offered by Habitat Philadelphia are made possible in part through support from corporate partners. Representatives from Bank of America, Cisco, Dale Corporation, Federal Home Loan Bank – Pittsburgh and Firstrust Bank, LEM Capital, and Wells Fargo made the official hand-off of keys to the new homeowners at Saturday’s dedication ceremony.
Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia has been working alongside homeowners since 1985. An affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, the local nonprofit has built and sold 260 homes and provided critical repairs to more than 800.
The organization is currently constructing 21 affordable homes in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood with their Coltrane Commons initiative.
Homeowner information sessions are available throughout September with the next application window opening in October. Visit www.habitatphiladelphia.org for more information.
Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia builds strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia transforms lives and our city by building and repairing quality homes in partnership with families in need and by uniting all Philadelphians around the cause of affordable housing. Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia has built and sold 260 energy-efficient homes to first-time homeowners, and strategically partnered with more than 800 homeowners and their families to provide critical home repairs. For more information, visit www.habitatphiladelphia.org.
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