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Cumberland County Affordable Housing Trust Fund logo

CARLISLE — Homebuyer assistance programs available through the Cumberland County Affordable Housing Trust Fund have benefitted homeowners and resulted in the sale of nearly 600 homes since 1998, according to the Cumberland County Redevelopment Authority, which administers the program.

Patricia Mrkobrad, housing programs manager, oversees the First-Time Homebuyer’s Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program, which provides up to $3,000 to qualified buyers who purchase Cumberland County homes and have a gross household income of between 80 and 100 percent of the county’s median income.

Up to $5,000 in assistance can be provided to qualified first-time homebuyers with a gross household income of less than 80 percent of the county’s median income. Assistance can be used toward the purchase price of the house and/or closing costs.

“This assistance is in the form of a five-year forgivable loan with no interest charged,” Mrkobrad said. “The objective is to encourage responsible homeownership and for Cumberland County to assist residents in realizing their dream of owning a home.”

To be eligible for the program, buyers must complete a first-time homebuyers workshop offered monthly by the authority. The workshop discusses buying a home — from establishing credit and identifying a property, to determining “how much house you can afford” and financing.

Applications for homebuyer assistance are accepted throughout the year.

The redevelopment authority manages five programs available to homeowners that can provide financial assistance for home repairs. All include income eligibility requirements which vary from program to program.

The county’s Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program provides interest-free loans of up to $17,500 for general repairs, and priority is given to households with low-income elderly and low- or moderate-income disabled residents.

The trust fund’s emergency repair deferred loan program can provide up to $5,000 for essentials such as roofing, plumbing, electrical wiring or foundation stabilization work.

The affordable housing trust fund makes available an annual allotment to improve mobility and access for the disabled — installing ramps, making bathroom modifications, widening doors, etc.

The Keystone Accessible Housing Grant Program is similar; Mrkobrad can assist potential applicants in determining which programs they may qualify for and meet their home-repair needs. The Keystone Renovate and Repair Loan Program provides financing for larger projects.

For more information or to apply, call Mrkobrad at 249-0789, ext. 136, or 1-866-683-5907, ext. 136, or email her at pmrkobrad@cchra.com. To register for the first-time homebuyers workshop, call 249-0789 and choose option two.

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