Fairmont, W.Va. – May 29, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) joined the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank) and United Bank today to announce a grant of $132,214 that will allow the Fairmont-Morgantown Housing Authority (FMHA) to continue a nearly decade-long initiative to repair and upgrade lower-income homes.
As part of its successful housing rehabilitation initiative in the North Central corridor, FMHA will offer a five-year forgivable loan program that will enable owners of aging properties in a section of Fairmont to improve their homes. FMHA has operated the initiative in Fairmont, Morgantown and adjacent areas for eight years.
Recipients of today’s grant funds will provide proof of ownership, homeowners insurance and payment of property taxes. Once work is authorized, FMHA will complete home improvements relating to safety and access for nine homeowners at a total average development cost of $15,246 per house.
Neighborhoods receiving the repairs are Maple/Ogden, Jackson Addition, Spring Street and surrounding streets behind Old Miller School, as well as the Blueprint Community of Fairmont, including 1st-6th Streets, Walnut Street and Albert Court. Repair work at the sites include roofing, windows, gutters, foundation work, accessibility improvements, electrical upgrades, new heating units and basic safety features.
Today’s award brings the total amount of Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grants for projects serving lower-income and special needs individuals in West Virginia to more than $12 million. Working with local financial institutions that assist nonprofit sponsors and distribute approved AHP dollars, FHLBank Pittsburgh has so far helped fund 1,515 lower-income housing units across the state.
“Thanks to FHLBank Pittsburgh and United Bank for again bringing affordable housing dollars to North Central West Virginia,” said Senator Manchin. “FMHA has done a great job over the past eight years making it possible for individuals with limited means, including seniors and the disabled, to upgrade both the safety and appearance of their homes. It’s an initiative that not only benefits affected households but also the vitality of entire neighborhoods,” Manchin said.
Today’s grant award was made in a ceremony at the offices of the Fairmont-Morgantown Housing Authority where “before and after” images of FMHA’s initiative were placed on display for the occasion.
“The funding of housing rehabilitation programs like the Phase II Main Street Border Communities Rehab Program is critical to the health and safety of residents and to the continued improvement of our community,” said FMHA Executive Director John Martys. “The Affordable Housing Program is one of the most effective examples of public – private partnerships and the private sector commitment to affordable housing today.”
At today’s event, Fairmont City Manager Jay Rogers issued a proclamation declaring June as Homeownership Month in Fairmont. Rogers also honored FHLBank for its assistance in providing affordable housing grants to FMHA as part of its rehabilitation initiative.
In addition to AHP awards, FHLBank Pittsburgh has also awarded grants to qualified first-time, lower-income homebuyers to assist them with down payment and closing costs. That program, First Front Door, has to date provided more than $325,000 in assistance to more than 90 West Virginia households. After an absence of four years, the program will return to West Virginia next month.
“Here in the Mountain State, the role that our member institutions like United Bank play is crucial,” said Winthrop Watson, FHLBank’s President and Chief Executive Officer, who spoke at today’s event. “They’re our eyes, ears and partners. It’s our members who help assess community needs, provide assistance with grant applications and deliver funding to project sponsors. They deserve much of the credit for the success of AHP,” Watson said.
United Bank Senior Vice President John Fahey also spoke at today’s grant ceremony.
FHLBank Pittsburgh is a congressionally chartered cooperative of local financial institutions operating across Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The Bank uses private money, not taxpayer funds, to assist local lenders in serving the affordable housing and community and economic development needs of the communities in which they operate. Each year, FHLBank sets aside 10 percent of its net income for AHP grants, which are awarded to project sponsors on a competitive basis.
The mission of the Fairmont-Morgantown Housing Authority is to assist low-income families with safe, decent and affordable housing opportunities as they strive to achieve self-sufficiency and improve the quality of their lives.
Sara Payne, Office of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, 304-342-5855,
John Martys, FMHA, 304-363-0860, ext. 104,
John Bendel, FHLBank Pittsburgh, 412-288-2820,