June is National Homeownership Month! Let’s celebrate! If you own your own home, congratulations! For those of you who only dream of it, know that it may become a reality someday and there are programs to help.
You may know Housing Transitions as the small nonprofit that provides services to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness or other housing crises, but the organization attempts to find solutions for sustainable and independent housing for people all along the continuum, even those who want to buy their first home.
Housing Transitions has a branch called Temporary Housing Foundation, which, even though its name would suggest otherwise, actually focuses on providing long-term affordable housing options in the Centre region. THF owns apartment complexes offering affordable rental units but also operates one of the homeownership programs in the Borough of State College.
After an income qualification process conducted by the borough, a first-time homebuyer will receive free budget counseling and homebuyer education through THF in order to become mortgage ready. Once they “graduate,” individuals and families may buy on the open market or consider a home offered through THF or the State College Community Land Trust.
The homes offered through these programs have been purchased and rehabilitated to meet updated code and safety standards, along with some minor cosmetic improvements. They are available to purchase at a cost affordable for the family income. The SCCLT leases the land to the homeowner in a long-term agreement, reducing the cost of the home by at least 30 percent. THF works with the borough to provide a gap loan as assistance that is repaid when the homeowner sells the home.
With either program, the mortgage burden for the family is kept to an amount within their means, making it possible for those with low to moderate incomes to experience long-term stability through homeownership.
THF is finishing the rehabilitation on a three-bedroom home and expects it to be ready for purchase in July. For more information about the qualifications, and how to apply for the first-time homebuyer programs in the Borough of State College, visit www.statecollegepa.us/1194/First-Time-Home-Buyer-Program or call 234-7109. If you are interested in selling your home, as is, to THF to be rehabilitated so a low- to moderate-income family or individual can experience the joys of homeownership, please call the Housing Transitions offices at 237-4863.