A program to help first-time homebuyers in Pittsburgh is one step closer to disbursing funds after the board of the city’s economic development agency gave its final approval.

The Urban Redevelopment Agency [URA] board approved OwnPGH’s guidelines, steering $15 million from the American Rescue Plan Act [ARPA] to first time homebuyers. The board did not specify when the program would begin disbursing funds but the URA aims to help at least 50 homebuyers in the program’s first year of operation. The board will make the announcement of OwnPGH’s official rollout at a future meeting.

The URA and the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh [HACP] will operate OwnPGH. The program will help homebuyers who make 80% or less of the area median income [AMI]. OwnPGH will provide grants of up to $50,000 and HACP will add an additional $40,000 in deferred mortgages.

In the Pittsburgh area, 80% of the AMI for a household of one is $53,100, and for a household of four it’s $75,850.

Homebuyers funded through OwnPGH would be limited, for 30 years, to selling the property to other buyers who make 80% of AMI or less. 

In determining how many people the program could help, Evan Miller, URA’s manager of residential lending, said that “there are a number of factors to consider including rising interest rates that we’re seeing. But we’re hoping to start moving people at a pretty decent clip.”

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