Congressman Fattah Accepts PHFA Award for Career-Long Leadership in Affordable Housing

Nov 05, 2012, 14:01 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), architect of Pennsylvania's pioneering emergency mortgage assistance as well as a recent federal program for homeowners facing foreclosure, was honored today with the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency's "Award of Excellence" for leadership throughout his career on affordable housing. 

"Congressman Fattah has long been recognized as one of the creators and early supporters of the state's Homeowners' Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program," said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. The Award Ceremony luncheon was held today at the Harrisburg Hilton.

"Over its 29-year life, HEMAP has helped more than 45,300 Pennsylvania families save their homes from foreclosure," Hudson said. "For his leadership on the initiation of HEMAP, and his support for affordable housing programs during his legislative career, we honor Congressman Fattah with this special award."

Fattah was a first-term state representative in 1983 when HEMAP was launched. He is widely credited as architect of the program, which has since become a national model for effective foreclosure prevention, saving families' homes and preserving the vitality of communities.

The Philadelphia Congressman used Pennsylvania's HEMAP as his model for the federal Emergency Housing Loan Program (EHLP) that provided $1 billion for threatened mortgages of unemployed homeowners so they could remain in their homes.  The measure, championed by Fattah in the 111th Congress, was enacted as part of the Wall Street Reform Act.

"Leadership and advocacy for affordable housing has been a hallmark of my career in Harrisburg and Washington," Fattah said. "Launching HEMAP, and seeing the program grow to assist tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians to realize the American dream of homeownership for almost three decades, is one of my proudest achievements."

"It is an honor to receive PHFA's Award of Excellence, and to accept it from Brian Hudson, a quiet superstar for quality, accessible and affordable housing," Fattah said. "Brian is a genuine hero for the terrific job he's done administering HEMAP and other affordable housing programs."

The program has provided more than $433 million in emergency assistance loans to Pennsylvanians who had been making their mortgage payments until, through no fault of their own, they lost a job or other income stream and faced default. Nearly 90 percent of Pennsylvania homeowners receiving this assistance have avoided foreclosure and loans have been repaid to the point that, over its lifetime, HEMAP turned a modest profit.

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah