(Image via Pittsburgh City Paper).
By Dani Janae
PITTSBURGH — For many, homeownership is a milestone that is desired, but not achievable. Many barriers exist to prevent people from buying their first home, but a new program through Catapult Greater Pittsburgh seeks to help combat those issues, especially financial barriers that have held back Pittsburgh’s Black community.
The “Next Steps Fund” was launched to support efforts to “increase equity in homeownership opportunities for Black families,” according to a state. The program seeks to achieve this by helping Black families cover closing costs and down payments needed for buying a home.
“Having our own closing assistance fund has been on our ‘wish list’ for the past several years,” the organization’s executive director, Tammy Thompson, said. “As we built our organization’s homeownership program, D.O.O.R (Development Ownership Opportunities for Residents), we saw the frequency with which our participants either believed that they could never save enough money to cover closing costs or cleaned out retirement funds or emergency savings to close. We knew that we wanted to offer support.”
If you’re interested in receiving “Next Steps Fund” assistance, the criteria is as follows:
- Must be purchasing a home within Allegheny County
- Cannot earn more than 115% Area Media Income (AMI)
- Must be a first-time homebuyer
- Owner Occupant (Buyer must be a full-time resident of the property)
- Must participate and earn a First Time Homebuyer Certificate in the Catapult Greater Pittsburgh D.O.O.R program.
- Buyer must contribute no less than 1% of total purchase price to the transaction.
If you’re interested in learning more, visit the Catapult website.
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