Collin Long, Communications Director, Office of Congressman Charlie Dent: firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-225-6411
Deena Kershner, Executive Director, Our Town Foundation: email@example.com, 610-562-3106
Neil Cotiaux, FHLBank: 412-335-9488
Congressman Dent Presents $200,000 Grant to Our Town Foundation:
Financing Will Support Owner-occupied Housing Rehabilitation in Hamburg
Hamburg, PA – February 27, 2012 – Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15) announced today that 15 property owners in the Borough of Hamburg will be able to make substantial improvements to their homes, thanks to a $200,000 affordable housing grant.
Congressman Dent was the keynote speaker at a check presentation event held at the Reading Railroad Museum. Today’s grant, from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) of Pittsburgh’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP), will help fund half of a $400,000 housing rehabilitation project. A matching grant, also for $200,000, came from the Redevelopment Authority of Berks County.
Rehabilitation will allow low- to moderate-income single-family homeowners in the borough to engage in interior and exterior property improvements. Many of this initiative’s intended beneficiaries are seniors on fixed incomes who cannot maintain their properties at a safe or code-compliant level. Rehabilitation work may include woodwork or siding repair, painting, gutter and spouting improvements, roofing, windows, doors, curbing and sidewalks, including the addition of handicapped-accessible features. Energy efficiency improvements will also decrease seniors’ cost of living and provide them with more disposable income to meet their daily needs.
The AHP is administered by FHLBank with the assistance of local financial institutions including Fulton Bank, which helped Our Town Foundation apply for the grant and is delivering the funds to the nonprofit. An earlier FHLBank grant for $162,000 helped fund The Knitting Mill on Peach Alley, a former factory at Peach Alley and Pine Street readapted to provide 27 units of quality housing for low- and middle-income seniors.
“In today’s difficult economy, the work of local organizations like Our Town Foundation is essential to keeping communities strong,” said Rep. Dent. “This crucial grant funding will help low- and moderate-income families in Hamburg, including many seniors, update and repair their homes. Not only will this effort enrich the lives of the numerous local homeowners it directly affects, but it will also help create stronger and more vibrant neighborhoods throughout Hamburg.”
The Borough of Hamburg is one of 22 Blueprint Communities originally sponsored by FHLBank Pittsburgh in 2005. Through the Blueprint Communities initiative, smaller aging towns and cities increased local leadership capacity, developed a clearer vision for their future along with a specific strategic plan, and began working on a variety of neighborhood projects. As a result of its successes during the initial phase of the initiative, Hamburg was recertified as a Blueprint Community in 2010.
FHLBank Pittsburgh provides a steady stream of low-cost liquidity to local lenders in support of housing finance and community and economic development. FHLBank is privately funded and capitalized, uses no taxpayer dollars, and is one of twelve FHLBanks nationwide that are overseen by Congress and regulated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). At December 31, 2011, the Bank had 300 financial institution members in its private cooperative and approximately $52 billion in assets.