Wednesday, March 18, 2009

$5,000 interest free loan for city home buyers

At today’s County Commissioners’ Meeting, the Countywide Redevelopment Authority was authorized to amend its contract with the Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership (LHOP), allowing the provision of $300,000 in LHOP assistance funds to City homebuyers.

Under the new arrangement, LHOP funds can now be accessed for homes within the City limits.

Previously, if the County’s portion of Federal homebuyer assistance funding was not fully expended within the County itself, the remaining funds could not be applied within the City. According to Matthew Sternberg, Executive Director of the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority, “That did create the situation where there was funding available on the County side that could not be used for qualified residents on the City side, even in situations where those residents may have originated from the County.”

LHOP lends as much $5,000 interest-free to first-time homebuyers of low to moderate income. Before qualifying for these funds, individuals are walked through a 10-hour Homebuyer Education course to discuss all of the financial obligations associated with home-ownership.

Essentially, this amendment was introduced because “activity in the City, while slowed by the recession, outpaces the County” (Resolution No. 11 of 2009). Commissioner Craig Lehman commended this amendment, stating, “For me, this a very thoughtful approach in basically trying to address demand.” LHOP expects the monthly disbursal of two to three loans in the County versus five to six loans in the City.

For more information regarding LHOP, visit their homepage at (Please note that the site is not yet updated regarding the inclusion of City homebuyers.)