On Monday, October 30, 2006, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the Pratt Area Community Council (PACC) held their first annual Housing Fair, Welcome Home! at the Brown Memorial Baptist Church at 484 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn. The purpose of the fair was to educate central Brooklyn residents about future homeownership opportunities and to inform prospective buyers about the process involved.
The fair featured a presentation by HPD covering a variety of initiatives which are part of Mayor Bloomberg’s $7.5 billion ten year New Housing Marketplace Plan to preserve and create 165,000 units of affordable housing for 500,000 New Yorkers. Programs discussed included the HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Plan, Homeowner Loan Programs, the Senior Citizens Housing Assistance Program (SCHAP), and the Home Improvement Program (HIP).
“Through partnerships with community based organizations like the Pratt Area Community Council, HPD can reach out to New York City neighborhoods and educate residents on the City’s innovative homeownership programs,” said HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan. “The Bloomberg Administration has made great strides in the creation and preservation of affordable housing in New York City. Through housing fairs such as Welcome Home! residents can learn about the Mayor’s ten year plan to build or preserve affordable housing for 500,000 New Yorkers, more than the entire population of Atlanta. The 2005 Housing Vacancy Survey reported homeownership in New York City at 33%, the highest ever recorded, and we anticipate the Mayor’s plan will further increase opportunities for homeownership.”
The HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Plan provides qualified homebuyers with up to 6% of a home’s purchase price toward the down payment or closing costs on a one to four family home, a condominium, or a cooperative throughout New York City.
Through the Senior Citizen Home Assistance Program (SCHAP), HPD works in conjunction with the Parodneck Foundation to provide assistance in amounts up to $40,000 for a single-family house, and up to $30,000 per dwelling unit for two to four family houses to low- and moderate-income senior citizens age 60 or older who own and occupy one- to four-family homes. The loans vary from no-interest deferred loans to fully amortizing 3% interest loans.
The Home Improvement Program (HIP) works in cooperation with private banks to provide loans to help small homeowners improve their properties. HIP loans of up to $30,000 are made to owner/occupants of one- to four-family homes located throughout the City.
In addition to the informational presentation, the fair included 15 different exhibit tables from a variety of banks and real-estate agencies who provided loan and grant information for current homeowners and answered questions on a one-on-one basis to prospective homebuyers.
Fair attendees had the opportunity to enter a raffle for three free home services classes offered by PACC for the months of November, January, and February. These classes provide residents with comprehensive, individualized strategies for getting their finances in order and setting long-term financial goals that enable them to make the transition to homeownership.
HPD hosts and participates in homeowner and building owner education programs throughout the year. HPD’s Owners’ Nights are held monthly in each of the five boroughs to provide local homeowners, co-op owners, building owners and landlords information about HPD services such as low-interest loans, correction of housing violations and assistance with mortgages and refinancing as well as HPD courses including building management and maintenance, expense reduction strategies and owner-tenant relations. HPD recently held its annual Healthy Homes, Healthy Families Expo where local residents were provided with information on in-home health issues and code enforcement from City health officials and HPD staff. In addition, HPD’s HomeFirst community partners often host events to educate prospective homebuyers about homeownership where HPD staff is present to provide information about downpayment assistance and HPD’s programs and services for homeowners. HPD is coordinating additional fairs across the City in coming months.
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The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development's (HPD) mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. The department is the nation’s largest municipal housing development agency and is implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. The New Housing Marketplace Plan is the largest municipal affordable housing effort in the nation’s history. HPD also encourages the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards