PROGRAMS FOR HOMEOWNERS- Tri-County is a Local Program Administrator for the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s Keystone Renovate and Repair Loan Program. This program assists homeowners who need to fix code violations, medical address deferred maintenance, upgrade building systems, or complete home renovations. This is a LOAN Program, meaning applicants will need sufficient income and credit to be approved. To apply, contact Tri-County Housing for more information and to check if you are eligible for the program. Prescreened applicants will work with Tri-County’s lending partner, Members 1st Federal Credit Union, to obtain their credit score and to apply for the loan. PHFA will pay loan closing fees for low and moderate income participants (higher income participants may utilize the program but will fund loan closing costs as they would with a conventional home equity loan). If the loan is approved, Tri-County will have a home inspector view your home, check for major issues and help you prioritize and write-up the scope of work. Homeowners work with the contractor of your choice. Loan funds are disbursed after Tri-County’s inspector checks that the contractor has completed the work satisfactorily.
REHABILITATION OF “FOR SALE” HOUSING- The cornerstone of Tri-County’s work has been the creation of affordable “for sale” housing. In the City of Harrisburg, the organization has rehabilitated 72 abandoned, dilapidated and blighted properties to create historically sensitive and high-quality housing for low-income families. In Cumberland and Dauphin Counties, 10 homes each have been restored and sold to income-eligible homebuyers. First, Tri-County partners with local municipalities to target and acquire homes that are nuisance properties or abandoned and blighted. Then, Tri-County uses its highly skilled construction crew to complete gut rehabilitations. Subcontractors are utilized to install all new electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems. Tri-County’s crew completes all other construction work including partial demolition, lead abatement, framing and carpentry, and the installation of finishes such as drywall, paint, and new flooring, cabinetry and appliances. The rehabilitation of these previously blighted homes supports local property owners and contributes to revitalization efforts in targeted low-income neighborhoods. Best of all, low and moderate income homeowners have the opportunity to purchase affordable rehabilitated properties in “like new” condition. All Tri-County homes must remain owner-occupied and are subject to resale restrictions to ensure that they remain affordable housing.
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT- Since its inception in 1990, Tri-County has developed 675 units of affordable housing—rental properties and “for sale” homes. When Tri-County is considering new projects, the organization considers the following important factors.
• Location- Projects should be located in areas where affordable housing is an identified need. Tri-County will target underserved areas, i.e. locations where we are not in direct competition with other affordable housing developers. It is wasteful to compete for resources in heavily served areas.
• Local Support- Projects should have community support including the involvement of neighborhood residents and organizations/institutions. Likewise, projects must have the support of municipal governments, local and regional planning bureaus, and financing partners.
• Supportive Services– Projects should incorporate community-based social services and education resources for residents.
• Financial Feasibility– Project proformas should be realistic based on both development experience and current pricing. Projects should be financially feasible with financing available. Developer fees should be incorporated and guaranteed in order to ensure Tri-County’s overhead expenses are met. Rental projects should demonstrate positive cash flow.
• Affordability- Projects should promote housing affordability and choice. Tri-County follows federal affordability guidelines. Generally speaking, homeowners and renters should not pay more than 30% of the gross income for housing expenses (including a mortgage payment or rent payment plus their utilities). Tri-County is an equal housing opportunity provider.
• Sustainability- Tri-County’s construction and development specialists will ensure that projects incorporate green-building and energy-saving techniques whenever possible in order to reduce end-user operating costs. Additionally, homeownership projects will incorporate equity-sharing and land use restriction agreements to protect other community members and homeowners in the neighborhood.
• Other Characteristics- Tri-County believes that mixed-income, mixed-use and concentrated developments are healthy and will follow these principles when it is feasible. In summary, the organization’s knowledge, experience and values are combined to create affordable, smart and sustainable housing developments.
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT- Installing proactive and effective property managers is one way for Tri-County to ensure our rental projects are responsive to tenants’ needs and community members’ concerns. Tri-County has taken on management of several responsible commercial properties in South Allison Hill and is working toward taking over property maintenance at several rental properties.
WEATHERIZATION- Tri-County’s construction crew is certified to perform weatherization services in Dauphin County. By providing energy efficient upgrades, increased insulation and air sealing measures, and window repair and replacement, low-income residents can realize increased comfort as well as major energy savings. Interested residents should contact The Dauphin County Weatherization Department, which administers the program locally.