A new $1.2bn Pennsylvania mortgage program will provide affordable loans to more than 11,000 homebuyers in a boost to the state’s economy, according to an announcement from Gov. Edward Rendell. A similar government program in North Carolina provided a grant of up to $8.6m to Zenta Mortgage Services for the addition of 1,002 jobs into the Charlotte market. The initiative in Pennsylvania is a partnership between the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), the US Treasury Department and the mortgage giants Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE). The new program includes writing 11,000 30-year fixed rate, low-interest mortgage loans and an expansion of the Keystone First program with an additional $10m to help another 2,000 homebuyers who are eligible for federal homebuyer tax credits borrow up to $6,000 in interest-free loans for closing costs and down payments. The program will also provide $50m for roughly 450 new-home construction loans to encourage building activity, indirectly creating jobs. “To kick-start the housing recovery we need to repair the damage of the past few years and again make it possible for qualified homebuyers to get loans,” Gov. Rendell said. “Long-term, low interest, fixed-rate loans are exactly what our consumers need. These loans are the opposite of the kinds of ‘sub-prime,’ or ‘interest only’ and ‘adjustable rate’ loans that led so many homebuyers into trouble.” Write to Jon Prior.