‘Turn The Key,’ Philly City Council’s new plan to build 1,000 affordable homes
The houses will be three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bathroom units to be constructed on publicly-owned city land.
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In the ongoing effort to fill the massive need for affordable housing in Philadelphia, a number of City Councilmembers were on hand on Thursday, April 28 to unveil the new Turn The Key program, which hopes to provide 1,000 new affordable housing units across the city.
Funded as the latest effort part of Philadelphia City Council’s $400 million Neighborhood Preservation Initiative, the new housing units will have three bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms, and will be mortgaged at or below $1,200 a month.
“Today is the beginning of a new era in affordable homeownership in Philadelphia,” said Council President Clarke, at a news conference announcing the Turn the Key program at 55th and Poplar Streets in West Philadelphia. “With funds from the Neighborhood Preservation Initiative and publicly-owned city land, we’re launching the largest development of affordable housing in city history.”
To help make the units affordable for families at or below 80% of the area median income, funds from the Neighborhood Preservation Initiative will be used to provide soft loans. Under its Mortgage Affordability Program, loans of up to $75,000 will be available depending on the buyer’s household income.
The loans will be secured through a second mortgage put on the property, and will have a life of 30 years. A portion of the loan will be forgiven over time, and upon the completion of its 30-year term, it will be totally forgiven.
Income guidelines put out alongside the program also show limits of $66,150 for one-person households, $75,600 for two, $85,050 for three, $94,500 for four, $102,100 for five, $108,650 for six, $117,200 for seven, and finally, $124,750 for eight-person households.
“The biggest investment most people make in one's lifetime is in their home,” said Councilmember Curtis Jones Jr. “It's an asset that should always appreciate but in its initial phases, be affordable as well."
To be eligible for the program, applicants must be first-time homebuyers, or have owned a home in the last three years. They must also have their income certified and complete a free mandatory homeownership counseling program before signing the agreement of sale.
Pending current City Council legislation, income-eligible city employees could also get preference.