Charleston, WV – April 27, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (WV-02) announced today that affordable housing projects in Fairmont, Fayette County, Huntington, McDowell County, Wheeling and White Sulphur Springs have been awarded nearly $800,000 in Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grants.
Capito, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit of the House Financial Services Committee, was the keynote speaker at a Charleston luncheon today at which the grants were announced. The six awards will help create 148 new or rehabilitated units of affordable housing to serve a variety of individuals and families including seniors, the homeless, first-time homebuyers, the mentally or physically challenged, and those recovering from substance dependency.
Today’s $791,000 in grant awards from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) of Pittsburgh brings to $11 million and 1,400 affordable housing units the total commitment of the AHP program in West Virginia to date. The AHP is administered by FHLBank with the assistance of local member financial institutions that help project sponsors with their grant applications and disburse funding. West Virginia banks assisting today’s six project recipients are First State Bank, Pendleton Community Bank, Pioneer Community Bank, United Bank and WesBanco Bank.
“In today’s economic environment, an ample supply of affordable housing is more important than ever,” said Congresswoman Capito. “These six grants will provide lower-income individuals and families, including many with special needs, with the warm surroundings and sense of stability they need as they continue to build their economic self-sufficiency in trying times.”
“FHLBank Pittsburgh is again pleased to help improve the stock of affordable housing in the Mountain State,” said Winthrop Watson, the Bank’s president and chief executive officer. “Renters, first-time homebuyers, seniors and those with transitional needs will all benefit from the wide variety of projects that we are funding today. We especially thank First State Bank, Pendleton Community Bank, Pioneer Community Bank, United Bank and WesBanco Bank for their outstanding work in helping to make these projects a reality.”
“AHP takes the form of gap funding, meaning that many times, our grants provide the first or last funding that a sponsor needs to make their project happen,” explained John J. Bendel, director of Community Investment at FHLBank. “The AHP utilizes private funds in combination with other funding programs at the federal, state and local levels. This ongoing partnership helps create the total resources that project sponsors need.”
AHP is one of the largest private sources of grant funds for affordable housing in the United States. Across the country, the twelve Federal Home Loan Banks, created by Congress 79 years ago to foster housing finance, serve a wide range of neighborhood needs. All AHP recipients must have incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income.
Nationally, the FHLBanks have awarded more than $4 billion in grants, while across its own district of Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, FHLBank Pittsburgh has committed more than $200 million to the program and created a total of more than 35,000 affordable housing units to date.
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 and uses no taxpayer dollars. At December 31, 2010, the Bank had 308 financial institution members in its cooperative and approximately $53 billion in assets.
Pioneer Community Bank
SAFE Housing & Economic Development, Inc. (SHED)
Total Units: 8
Total AHP Grants: $250,000
Rehabilitation of the Algoma Company Store at 158 Coal Car Road will allow SAFE to create eight rental units for low-income individuals in McDowell County. The project will include two two-bedroom and six one-bedroom units. In addition, a community wellness center will be developed at street level which will be accessible to the tenants and members of the public. Travel Beautiful Appalachia, Inc. will help plan and develop this first-floor feature while SHED will focus on the rental units, two of which will be reserved for homeless. Committed funds from the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, West Virginia Historic Preservation, West Virginia HUB and the West Virginia Council of Churches help meet budget. The facility is expected to be ready for occupancy in June 2011.
Fayette County, WV
Southern Appalachian Labor School
Total Units: 10
Total AHP Grants: $81,200
Ten dilapidated, energy-inefficient homes will be rehabilitated and repaired as part of the sponsor’s ongoing program of restoring viable affordable housing in Fayette County. The project lies within the top Neighborhood Stabilization Program county (Fayette) based on foreclosures. Post-homeownership counseling, credit counseling and onsite primary healthcare services are some of the outreach services that will be made available to residents. Two of the properties will specifically serve the physically or mentally disabled. Rural USDA has committed funds to this project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2011. To date, the Southern Appalachian Labor School has completed 160 rehabs, 20 new homes, and 900 home repairs in the region.
Fairmont Southside Home Rehab Program
Fairmont Housing Authority
Total Units: 7
Total AHP Grants: $98,483
This FHLBank-sponsored “Blueprint Community” sees owner-occupied rehabilitations as a key tool in community renewal. The target area for this project, a mixed-use neighborhood with mixed income, consists of city streets 1st through 4th, Walnut Avenue and Albert Court and the neighboring area of 5th and 6th streets to Coleman Avenue and Virginia Avenue. Property deterioration is largely evident from the street along these blocks, as the seniors who reside in many of these homes, sometimes disabled, do not have the physical or financial means to make repairs. AHP funds will be used to rehab seven homes. Fairmont Housing Authority has already completed more than 90 similar rehabs within its service area, all involving FHLBank funding.
Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless
Total Units: 18
Total AHP Grants: $41,370
The Coalition recently purchased a more than century-old three-story brick building that it will convert to housing for 18 homeless individuals with disabilities. The program will provide shelter for clients who are single adults with a disability and income standing at less than 30 percent of average median income. To be located at 102 Fourteenth Street, The Flats will also provide clients with counseling, employability training and educational services. Significant rehabilitation work is needed prior to this facility’s projected opening in 2012.
AHP gap funding represents the final piece of the financial puzzle for this project, which has already received funding commitments from state and federal agencies.
The Healing Place of Huntington, WV
First State Bank
The Healing Place of Huntington
Total Units: 100
Total AHP Grants: $250,000
To be developed through the conversion of Old Lincoln School, The Healing Place of Huntington, modeled on a successful residential recovery program in Louisville, KY named “A Model That Works” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will pursue a mission of reducing addiction and substance abuse among tenants. Clients of this new facility likely will include male, unemployed, and undereducated individuals, some with criminal records. The old high school’s gymnasium will be converted into a two-story residence to be divided between the first and second phases of this recovery program. In 2008, only 275 available beds existed in West Virginia to shelter the state’s substance addiction population, which numbered 40,000. The Healing Place of Huntington, to be located at 2425 Ninth Avenue, will help close that gap. Fifty percent of the facility’s units will be reserved for the homeless.
Approved funding comes from a variety of five different state government subsidies as well as community donations. Initial occupancy has occurred with more scheduled later this year.
White Sulphur Springs AHP Project
White Sulphur Springs, WV
Pendleton Community Bank
Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity
Total Units: 5
Total AHP Grants: $70,000
The construction of four new homes and rehabilitation of a fifth comprise this Habitat project at 892 Tuckahoe Road in White Sulphur Springs. Through its time-tested model, Habitat will engage volunteers as well as approved owners who engage in “sweat equity” to construct these energy-efficient homes with donated materials. All mortgages carry zero percent interest. One of the five homes will serve a physically or mentally disabled individual.
Habitat for Humanity of West Virginia has committed funds toward the completion of this project, the first conducted by Almost Heaven Habitat since its merger with Greenbrier Habitat for Humanity. The project will be completed in 2012.
Jamie Corley, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, 202-225-2711, cell: 202-450-9695;
Neil Cotiaux, FHLBank, 412-335-9488;