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Fattah Helps Award $960,000 In Affordable Housing Grants To Aid Veterans, Women With Special Needs, The Mentally Ill

PHILADELPHIA, March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA-02) announced today that sponsors of affordable housing developments across the city will receive a total of $960,000 in grant money to help them complete their projects.

The grants, made under the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) of Pittsburgh's Affordable Housing Program (AHP) with the assistance of Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, PNC Bank and TD Bank, will help provide much-needed housing to challenged veterans, women with special needs and their children, individuals with chronic mental illness and victims of domestic violence. A total of 74 additional units of affordable housing will be available in the city once all four projects are completed.

Today's awards bring the total amount of AHP grants to lower-income and special needs housing projects within the City of Philadelphia to more than $43.1 million since FHLBank began funding the program in 1990. Since AHP's inception, the Bank has funded 5,844 lower-income housing units in the city, plus 63 others for individuals above 80 percent of the area median income. 

"Thanks to FHLBank Pittsburgh for again bringing affordable housing dollars to Philadelphia's neighborhoods," said Congressman Fattah. "It's vital that this round of grants focuses on the housing needs of our challenged veterans, women with special needs and homeless families."

"Affordable housing and home ownership have been a priority throughout my years in public service," Fattah said. "I have been dedicated to increasing both access to, and the availability of, affordable housing in Philadelphia and across urban America. This partnership with FHLBank Pittsburgh is an important part of that effort."            

Today's grant awards were made in a ceremony at the People's Emergency Center (PEC). 325 N. 39 th Street, in West Philadelphia. PEC has also hosted two other AHP grants events in recent years.

FHLBank Pittsburgh is a congressionally chartered cooperative of local financial institutions operating across Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The Bank uses private money, not taxpayer funds, to assist local lenders in serving the affordable housing and community and economic development needs of the communities in which they operate. Each year, FHLBank sets aside 10 percent of its net income for AHP grants, which are awarded to project sponsors on a competitive basis.

In addition to AHP awards, FHLBank Pittsburgh has also historically awarded grants to qualified first-time, lower-income homebuyers to assist them with down payment and closing costs. That program, First Front Door, has to date provided $13.9 million in assistance to 3,279 Philadelphia homeowners. The program will be re-launched later this year.

Projects Receiving Funding:

Bigham Place Member: Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania; Sponsor: People's Emergency Center; 7 units; AHP Grant: $210,000.

Bigham Place, a new construction project in West Philadelphia, will transform a large vacant lot at 4226-32 Powelton Avenue into an 8,400-square-foot two-story building that will serve formerly homeless women with special needs and their children. The project reflects community objectives laid down in the 2004 West Powelton/Saunders Park Neighborhood Plan and the more recent Lower Lancaster Revitalization Plan and anticipates the expansion of gentrification efforts into the neighborhood.

Impact – Veterans and Family Housing CenterMember: TD Bank; Sponsor: Impact Services Corporation; 26 Units; AHP Grant: $250,000.

Impact Services Corporation (Impact) will create a mixed-income project of 26 permanent supportive housing units for challenged and homeless veterans and their families at 1952 E. Allegheny Avenue in Kensington. The site once housed a factory and is now vacant.

Penrose Transitional LivingMember: PNC Bank; Sponsor: CATCH; 38 Units; AHP Grant: $250,000

CATCH (Citizens Acting Together Can Help) is renovating its 38-bed transitional housing program on Penrose Avenue to better meet the residential and rehabilitation needs of the chronically mentally ill and those with co-occurring disorders. More than half of the residents post-renovation will have been homeless and come from emergency shelters, community hospital psychiatric units and state and VA hospitals.

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