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Councilmember Cherelle Parker speaks in front of 176 Roselyn St. in Olney alongside Council President Darrell Clarke and new homeowner April Broaddus. Photo: Nigel Thompson/AL DÍA News.
Councilmember Cherelle Parker speaks in front of 176 Roselyn St. in Olney alongside Council President Darrell Clarke and new homeowner April Broaddus. Photo: Nigel Thompson/AL DÍA News.

Philadelphia’s program for first-time homebuyers has served more than 500 people

At a press conference in Olney on Monday, city officials celebrated “Philly First Home,” which started just five months ago.

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What took place at 176 Roselyn Street in Olney in the early afternoon on Monday was a celebration by city officials. But make no mistake, the woman of the hour was April Broaddus.

She is one of the newest beneficiaries of the city’s five-month-old “Philly First Home” program. Announced by Mayor Jim Kenney in May, the program offers qualifying first-time homebuyers up to $10,000 towards the down payment and closing costs of their first home.

Broaddus’ grant through “Philly First Home” was worth $6,900, which went towards her final purchase price of $115,000.

“I’m grateful to be a homeowner, stability is very important to me and my children,” Broaddus said at the press conference held on her new front porch.

She was joined there by District 9 Councilmember Cherelle Parker, City Council President Darrell Clarke and a host of other city community development leaders. 

Parker’s District 9 constitutes the biggest percentage of beneficiaries from the “Philly First Home” program with 22% of the share, followed closely by District 7 with 19% and District 6 with 17%.

Despite the success so far in her district, Parker said there’s plenty more people to help.

“There are still many potential first-time homebuyers who are saddled with debt, including student loans, car loans, child care, and it usually puts homeownership just out of reach,” she said. “These folks need a little push to get them over the hump.”

Broaddus’ success was celebrated as the 500th first-time homeowner to get a home through the program. But at the time of press conference on Monday, the number of people aided had risen above 550.

For Clarke, that data went against the narrative that city programs don’t work, and also highlighted Philadelphia’s benefit of $2.8 million in realty transfer taxes in five months.

“This is a win-win for everybody,” he said.

To be eligible, an individual must not have owned a home in the past three years and must fall within a certain annual income depending on the number of occupants.

So far, Philadelphia has awarded approximately $4.7 million in grants for first-time home buyers.

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