CARL Overview

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PCRG, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), community leaders, and financial institutions have been working together through the Community Bankers Collaborative Council (CBCC) to create a creative solution to help potential homeowners buy and fix up homes.  Through the Community Acquisition and Rehabilitation Loan (CARL), borrowers can obtain mortgage financing and home rehabilitation financing in one loan.

As a single loan product, CARL simplifies the financing process for the purchase and rehabilitation of a property by reducing the cost, time, and complexity of obtaining multiple loans. This strategy creates an opportunity for homeownership while simultaneously allowing individuals and families to affordably make modern, energy-efficient repairs to create the home of their dreams. Our communities seek to greatly benefit from the renovations of its aging housing stock and increased property values, job creation, and a more robust tax base for the local economy.

The CARL program, currently in its pilot phase, is offered in 57 census tracts in the City of Pittsburgh.  Click here for a list of eligible census tracts. To find out the census tract for a property you have identified, you can go to: > select “2014″ in the drop down menu > enter the address of the property and click “search” > and then click “Census Demographic Data” on the left.  The Census Tract will be shown on the left next to “Tract Code” and on the map within the Census Tract boundaries (the red dot indicates your property location, and the blue lines immediately surrounding the red dot indicates the Census Tract boundaries).


The following is a summary of the key underwriting criteria for borrower, the property, and the contractor when considering the use of CARL:

• Loan-To-Value: 95% or the lesser of the total cost or post rehab value (with up to 6% of seller’s assist applied to closing costs and down payment).
• Minimum credit score: 620 (with more review if necessary).
• Counseling for first-time homebuyers and buyers with credit scores below 700 are required by a HUD approved agency, at the discretion of the lender.
• Debt to income ratio: 31/43.
• The interest rate is based on a Fannie Mae 30-year mortgage with a 60-day commit rate plus 1%. The rate can be found
• Soft second mortgages and down payment assistance are allowed, but the Buyer must have at least 1.5% of his/her funds in the deal.
• Home inspection and pest inspection will be required.
• Complete, approved renovation plans and specifications are required, which must address and correct all code violations.
• All financed construction work must be done by a licensed contractor who is pre-approved to a standard, established by the URA and PCRG, and is acceptable to the bank, and must: provide proof of insurance and all required licenses; have enough money to finance work up to the first draw (minimum $7,500 credit line available, with all credit current, not later than 45 days).
For more detail on CARL, please click here for the Program Documents. For a list of frequently asked questions, please visit our CARL FAQ page.

If you have any questions, please contact Alyssa Lyon, PCRG’s Manager of Member Engagement, at or (412) 391-6732 ext. 209.


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