path to homeownership

First-Time Homebuyer Workshops

Since the beginning of the pandemic, First-Time Homebuyer Workshops are offered online via Zoom. Workshops run from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.

NOTE: The City’s Philly First Home grant program reopened on May 2, 2022. See our Frequently Asked Questions below for eligibility details.

NOTE: The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency has announced it will reopen a Pennsylvania mortgage relief program (PAHAF) to help homeowners catch up after the pandemic. This program has been closed for more than a year. When it reopens in March 2024, it will have an estimated $46 million remaining for new applicants, enough to cover roughly 3,350 more homeowners. Homeowners who face foreclosure or are at risk of having their property sold for back taxes should make sure to flag this when they apply, as the program prioritizes these applicants. Visit to learn more.

The goal of these workshops is to provide homeowners with a strong foundation of knowledge as they begin the home purchase process. Prospective homeowners receive comprehensive information from experts about mortgage lending, credit and budgeting, real estate, home inspections, and available sources to help with down payment and closing costs. Each participant receives a packet of information, which includes an application for one-on-one counseling offered by Mt. Airy CDC’s HUD-certified housing counselors.

If you would like a live American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, we will be happy to arrange to have one for you. Please allow at least two weeks at the time of your request.

If you have any questions about workshops or our Housing Counseling program, please email

2024 First-Time Homebuyer Workshop schedule:

Jan 11, 18, 25
Feb 8, 15, 20, 22
Mar 7, 14, 21
Apr 11, 18, 23, 25
May 9, 16, 30
Jun 13, 20, 25, 27

Jul 11, 18, 25
Aug 8, 15, 20, 22
Sep 12, 19, 26
Oct 10, 17, 22, 24
Nov 7, 14, 21
Dec 5, 10, 12

These workshops begin at 5:30pm.
Dates are Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Register HERE.

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  • How do I get a one-on-one counseling appointment?
  • How do I qualify for the Philly First Home grant? 
    • To be eligible you must complete a FREE City-funded homeownership counseling program — which includes our first-time homebuyer workshop and a one-on-one session with one of our housing counselors following completion of the workshop — before you sign an Agreement of Sale. See all details for eligibility HERE.
  • How do I sign up for a workshop? 
    • You can sign up for a workshop HERE. Note: if you are unable to sign up for the workshop, that means the workshop is closed.  Workshops are usually full 4-6 weeks in advance. 
  • When do workshops open for signup? 
    • Workshops open for signup in six month increments (Jan–Jun and Jul–Dec).  
  • Why does Mt. Airy CDC require so much personal information to register?
    • The demographic information is required by our funders: US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), and the Division of Housing and Community Development (Philadelphia). The rest of the questions help us understand the needs of our clients and is strictly for internal use only. Mt. Airy CDC will not sell or rent your information to unknown third parties. 
  • How long does it take to get my attendance certificate?
    • Please allow 1-2 weeks from the date you attend the workshop to receive your attendance certificate via email. The certificate will be sent to the email address you signed up with. 
  • Can I use an outside credit agency report? 
    • Unfortunately, we cannot accept a credit report from an outside credit agency. Our funders require that we use a specific agency to pull a tri-merge report.

First Time Home Buyer’s One-on-One Counseling

Mt. Airy CDC’s counselors work one-on-one with clients to walk them methodically through the home purchase process and find a loan product that meets their financial position. During these four-hour sessions, clients learn how to manage and build credit, create and use and individualized budget, and negotiate the intricacies of financing, mortgages, and home maintenance, the importance of a home inspection, and what down payment assistance grants and loans that they maybe the eligible for. After the meeting, clients receive necessary counseling certificates that are required for various assistance programs. Mt. Airy CDC also does pre-closing education through a partnership with the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.

Post Purchase Counseling

Maintaining a home is a big responsibility. Mt. Airy CDC’s housing team helps educate existing homeowners by providing home maintenance workshops, one-on-one counseling for home repair loans and grants, and counseling sessions focused on repairing credit and developing household budgets.

Home Improvement and Energy Workshop

These workshops inform homeowners about sources for home improvement loans, minor home repairs, energy savings, recycling, fire prevention, and other safety tips. Participants gather on Saturday mornings several times a year to share lunch and learn low-cost home repairs and energy tips presented by representatives from city agencies, utility companies, and energy experts. Participants usually receive energy saving light bulbs and/or recycling bins.

Attention Presenters

If you are a realtor, home inspector, lender, or someone else who works in the business of buying and maintaining a home and would like to be a part of our award-winning housing counseling workshops, please contact Sharon Kim for more on how to present:

215.844.6021 x222 |

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