PITTSBURGH, PA (November 10, 2016) - The City of Pittsburgh, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh (HFHGP) have collaborated to offer a first time Veterans Homeownership Initiative (VHI). The VHI will offer mortgages to veterans who want to become homeowners, including homeless and disabled veterans in the City of Pittsburgh. The URA will sell properties to HFHGP at a discounted acquisition purchase price, who will in-turn rehabilitate the property for sale to qualifying veterans.
Veterans Homeownership Initiative Press Conference
Friday, November 11, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. Location: Veterans Day Parade Starting Line, intersection of Liberty Avenue & 10th Street
"We are making a concerted effort to provide opportunities and have a positive impact on the lives of City of Pittsburgh veterans and their families," said Mayor William Peduto. "Homeownership should not be elusive for veterans and the City of Pittsburgh is pleased to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh to offer unique housing options for veterans who are in need of a quality, safe and affordable place to live."
According to HFHGP, nearly 68% of all homeless veterans live in cities, not suburbs, and roughly 45% of all homeless veterans are African-American or Hispanic.
“Too many veterans are at risk of remaining homeless due to a lack of strong support networks, poor living conditions and an abundance of overcrowded and substandard housing,” said Dr. Howard B. Slaughter, Jr., President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh and a veteran himself. "This inimitable and first-time collaborative will provide veterans a greater opportunity to succeed, gain wealth through the equity in their home, provide a safe place for their families to live and will help their assimilation back into society, having achieved the American Dream.”
Through the initiative, HFHGP will work directly with Shepherd’s Heart Veterans Home and other veteran affiliated organizations to inform their members about the opportunity for veterans to become homeowners.
"For the past 23 years, we have helped homeless veterans find dignity and honor and we are grateful Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh does such amazing work to provide homes for vulnerable families, including veterans," said Rev. Michael D. Wurschmidt, Executive Director of Shepherd’s Heart Veteran’s Home. "We are thrilled to partner in this initiative and inform veterans, who have sacrificed so much for their Country about the VHI. Dr. Slaughter and I are both veterans and we understand what this initiative will mean to veterans who are without a place to call home.”
All veterans purchasing a home will receive a mortgage with a ZERO percent interest rate for 30 years, no Private Mortgage Insurance, Pre and Post Financial Literacy and Budgeting education, only $950.00 as a down-payment, flexible credit underwriting and a commitment to maintain the mortgage in Pittsburgh for the life of the loan, guaranteeing the loan will not be sold to investors on the secondary market. This will afford veteran participants an opportunity, should any challenges arise, to work with HFHGP on a suitable resolution.
“On this Veterans Day, I am reflecting over the past 50 years," said Rocky Bleier, a Vietnam Veteran and former halfback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. "During that time, I have seen the difficulty that some of our veterans have in making the transition from military life to civilian life. I believe that home ownership is one of the foundations for that transition and veterans are a proud group of people who at times find it difficult to ask for help. I am humbled to be a part of this collaborative between the City of Pittsburgh, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Shepherd’s Heart and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh. Together we can bring this unique homeownership initiative to veterans, which will give our veterans the dignity they deserve.”
About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh’s mission is to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build and rehabilitate homes, communities and hope. We are an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a global, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing. We serve income-eligible families who would otherwise have a limited opportunity for homeownership or home repair. Our work is made possible by thousands of volunteers, staff, Board of Directors, Corporate support and philanthropic funding.
About Urban Redevelopment Authority
The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) is the City of Pittsburgh's economic development agency. Our goals are to create jobs, increase the city's tax base, and improve the vitality of businesses, neighborhoods, and the City's livability as a whole. The URA was one of the first redevelopment authorities in Pennsylvania. The URA’s first privately financed downtown redevelopment was Gateway Center. Since then, the URA has constructed and rehabilitated tens of thousands of homes, reclaimed thousands of acres of contaminated brownfield and riverfront sites, and assisted hundreds of businesses in neighborhoods throughout the City of Pittsburgh.
About Shepherd’s Heart Veteran’s Home
Shepherd's Heart Veteran's Home (SHVH) is a transitional housing for homeless Veterans. The Veteran's Home is collaboration between Pittsburgh Veterans Affair's Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV), Comprehensive Homeless Center (CHC) and Shepherd's Heart Fellowship, a parish of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. The collaboration aims to achieve a continuum of care for homeless Veterans. The program aims to service male veterans who are homeless and may have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse problems, mental illness, dual diagnosis, and those who are disabled.
About Rocky Bleier, Inc.
Rocky Bleier's story - a gripping tale of courage on both the football fields of America and the battle fields of Vietnam - has held audiences in rapt attention for years. Yet, the motivational message behind it, detailing how ordinary people can become extraordinary achievers, defines success in the new American century. With the same optimism, sense of humor and steadfast determination that were his trademarks as a Pittsburgh Steelers running back, Rocky Bleier takes audiences from his early years through his professional career and talks about the lessons he learned along the way...lessons from which we can all benefit.
Contact: Dr. Howard B. Slaughter, Jr., President & CEO
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh