PHA helping disabled housing residents purchase homes
    Like Mom and apple pie, owning your own home is part of the American dream. Philadelphia Housing Authority wants to help its residents achieve that dream-including residents with disabilities. This fall, PHA is targeting about 7,000 families who have one member with a disability and offering them the opportunity to become homeowners.
The final workshop was held October 5 at the Richard Allen Homes in North Philadelphia. 

    "Homeownership is a significant and important step towards creating a new era of self-sufficiency for our residents," says Carl Greene, PHA's Executive Director.
"Our homeownership program will increase residents' investment in not only their homes, but in the entire community." 

    Over 200 housing residents attended each workshop to prepare current Housing Choice Voucher recipients who are disabled for homeownership. They learned how to improve their credit rating, how to apply for a mortgage and how PHA will help them purchase their homes. 

    "It gives you the chills that we have the chance to do this," said 81-year old Maria Kruz, who applied for the program at the workshop. "It is really amazing." 

    PHA will allow housing voucher recipients with a disability to use their vouchers to make their monthly mortgage payments. Currently 31 such families are doing just that. 

    In addition, PHA has created a Resident Mortgage Assistance Program, which provides closing cost assistance and free financial counseling to help its residents purchase homes. 

    Families with a disabled member must have an annual income above $6,624 to qualify for the program.

Maria Kruz, 81, and Darlene
Bivins share their excitement about the possibility of becoming homeowners. 

The women attended PHA's recent homeownership workshop for families with a disabled member who receive Housing Choice Vouchers.

PHA's Housing Choice Voucher recipients met with credit counselors, bankers and housing inspectors as they learned how to start on the road to homeownership at a PHA-sponsored workshop for families with a disabled member held this fall.