Housing Counseling

Sustaining community through homeownership and asset building

The goal of the program is to help the Chinese-speaking community overcome the barriers to homeownership and enhance financial literacy. Through homeownership education, mortage counseling, financial literacy and outreach efforts, PCDC helps build wealth and prepares families for homeownership. In addition to workshops, PCDC offers individual pre-purchase, post-purchase, and rental counseling.

In April 2010, with assistance from the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, PCDC was certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As a HUD-certified agency, PCDC receives HUD resources and training in order to meet national standards for housing counseling.

 

PCDC provides the following services to the community:

• Quarterly community-wide financial expos that feature banks, mortgage lenders,
and Realtor
• Classes and seminars training families in the area of financial literacy and home-ownership readiness
• Individual counseling for mortgage preparation
• Placement of families into affordable homeownership opportunities

 

We also offer free First Time Homebuyer Education Class.
The workshops cover key topics for Budgeting, Credit, Saving, Benefits and responsibilities of being a homeowner & Predatory Lending.

For more information on all of our homeownership programs, call our Housing Counselor Wendy Lee at 215-922-2156.

In addition to our no-cost First Time Homebuyer Education Class, we also have partnered with Framework. Framework offers online homebuyer education classes for a fee of $75. The completion of Framework’s online classed OR PCDC’s in-person workshop, and plus an additional two hours of PCDC one-on-one counseling, you will receive a Homeownership Eduction Certificate. It’s not just about buying a home—it’s about staying in it. Research shows that informed homebuyers are successful homeowners.

Framework is the only online homebuyer course designed by experts in online learning. It’s comprehensive, so you’ll have all the facts you need to navigate every step of the buying process. And you can learn when, where, and how you like. It even works on your smartphone.

To get started, visit Framework. If you’d like to learn more first, watch this short overview video.

Framework meets many lenders’ requirements for homebuyer education, but check with yours to make sure an online course is acceptable.

Resource Corner

PCDC is U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) certified, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), and City of Philadelphia Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) approved Housing Counseling agency, to provide information on renting, home purchase and homeowners Education and one-on-one counseling.

Housing counselors assess clients’ needs, finances and budgets, assist them in finding eligible programs, reduce housing costs and increase savings, and develop action plans to achieve their goals. Counselors also provide homebuyer education in Chinese every month, which provides more options to homebuyers and saves more money. After completing the education session, plus two hours of PCDC one-on-one counseling, clients will receive a homeownership certificate to apply for the down payment and/or closing cost assistance program. The certificate is valid for 1 year.

If need assistance, please call PCDC Housing Counseling hotline: 215-922-6156

For Homebuyers:

Homebuyer grant/credit offered by banks/lenders:

Bank / Lender

Grant/Credit Amount

Bank of America

Up to $7500

BB&T is now Truist Bank

Up to $2500

Citizens Bank

Up to $2500

JPMorgan Chase Bank

Up to $3000

Santander Bank

Up to $5000

For Homeowners:

Philadelphia Homestead Exemption Program – Deadline 12/1/2021

The program saves homeowners money on their Real Estate Taxes. To be eligible you must own the property and live in it as your primary residence. There are no age or income requirements. You only need to apply once unless your deed changes. Final Deadline to apply for the Homestead Exemption is December 1, 2020. Early filers should apply by September 13, 2020 to see approval reflected on your 2021 Real Estate Tax bill. Applicants approved after this date will receive a second bill.

Website: https://www.phila.gov/services/property-lots-housing/property-taxes/get-real-estate-tax-relief/get-the-homestead-exemption

Phone: 215-686-9200

Property Tax Rebate Program (PA 1000) – Deadline 12/31/2021

The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners, and half of Social Security income is excluded. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may also file rebate claims on behalf of claimants who lived at least one day in 2018 and meet all other eligibility criteria.  The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975.

Website: https://www.revenue.pa.gov/GeneralTaxInformation/PropertyTaxRentRebateProgram

Phone: 1-888-222-9190

Senior Citizen Tax Freeze Program (SCTX) – Deadline 1/31/2022

Your Real Estate Tax bill will be prevented from increasing if you meet certain age and income requirements. Under the Real Estate Tax freeze, the amount of property tax you pay each year will not increase, even if your property assessment or the tax rate changes. If your tax liability decreases due to a lower property assessment or a tax rate decrease, the amount of Real Estate Tax you owe will also be lowered to the new amount

Applicants must meet both age and income requirements to be found eligible for a Real Estate Tax freeze.

Age requirements:

  • A person aged 65 years or older;
  • A person who lives in the same household with a spouse who is aged 65 years or older; or
  • A person aged 50 years or older who is a widow of someone who reached the age of 65 before passing away.

Income requirements:

  • $27,500 or less for a single person; or
  • $35,500 or less for a married couple.

Website:https://www.phila.gov/services/payments-assistance-taxes/senior-citizen-discounts/low-income-senior-citizen-real-estate-tax-freeze/

PHDC’s Basic System Repair Program (BSRP) and Adaptive Modification Program (AMP) 

Basic System Repair Program

BSRP provides repairs to correct electrical, plumbing, heating, structural and roofing emergencies in eligible owner-occupied homes in Philadelphia. Income guidelines do apply. 

Website: https://phdcphila.org/residents/home-repair/basic-systems-repair-program

Adaptive Modification Program

AMP is designed to help individuals with permanent physical disabilities live more independently in their homes. It provides adaptations to a house or an apartment, allowing easier access to and mobility within the home. Incomes guidelines apply for AMP as well. 

Website: https://phdcphila.org/residents/home-repair/adaptive-modifications-program

For Renters:

Philadelphia Rental Assistance Program – Phase 4

PCDC Housing Counselors and Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) assist tenants and landlords to complete their Philadelphia Phase 4 Rental Assistance applications. There has been delay in the process and please see below updates and recommendations.
 
Recommendations:
Updates:
  • Portal is open for Tenants to resubmit documents for application.
  • Applications are categorized as landlord-initiated applications or tenant-initiated application. Currently PHDC is working on completed landlord-initiated applications.

 

Rent Rebate Program (PA 1000) – Deadline 12/31/2021

The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may also file rebate claims on behalf of claimants who lived at least one day in 2019 and meet all other eligibility criteria.  The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975.

Website: https://www.revenue.pa.gov/GeneralTaxInformation/PropertyTaxRentRebateProgram

Phone: 1-888-222-9190