The excitement continues! The Alliance is proud to announce that we are on the verge of launching a new revolving loan fund to help Adams Countians become homeowners. This news comes on the heels of last month’s column, where we announced the Alliance is organizing a revolving small business loan fund to assist small business owners.

So why, you may ask, is the Alliance dabbling in a home ownership loan program? Isn’t the Alliance all about businesses and economic development?

Recently, we unveiled our groundbreaking Quality of Life Report, available on the home page of our website. Through the report, we weave facts, economics and testimonials about Adams County’s quality of life. Many of us truly believe Adams County is a great place to live, work and play!

But wait, if people cannot afford to live here, how can they work here? That’s the crux of the problem we hope to begin fixing with this new loan fund, Tenfold’s Homebuyer Loan Program.

Thanks to $323,000 in seed money generously awarded by the Adams County Commissioners, our goal is to assist 25 households with down payments on Adams County homes, by 2025. This seed money comes to us by way of federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) funding in response to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which our commissioners put into a grant program, the Adams Rescue and Recovery Fund (ARRF).

The economic impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt across the Adams County business community as well as families’ budgets. Although our current unemployment rate in Adams County is historically low at 3.63%, many Adams County businesses are still struggling to fill positions. COVID-19 caused many people to reevaluate and leave the workforce as highlighted by a very low workforce participation rate of 64.77%.

Another challenge to attracting and retaining talent in Adams County is the current cost of affordable workforce housing. The median cost of an Adams County home in 2016 was $250,000. By last fall, October of 2022, the median rose to $279,750. With houses lasting an average of eight days on the market and sellers receiving full asking prices, working families and first-time homebuyers are being priced out of homeownership. The share of first-time buyers fell to 26 percent, plummeting to the lowest level in four decades nationally.

The Alliance has partnered with @home in Adams County (an initiative operated under South Central Community Action Programs, SCCAP) and Tenfold, a Lancaster County-based nonprofit. Tenfold’s mission is to spark the power in all people to achieve equitable housing and financial security. Together, our three organizations will establish the revolving loan fund to assist Adams County homebuyers with down payment funds to increase their purchasing power. Our model is based upon Tenfold’s Homebuyer Loan Program which currently operates in both Lancaster and York. Since 1994, Tenfold has provided 2,477 loans totaling $15,186,872 to support first-time homebuyers in Lancaster and York Counties.

But it’s not just about the money.

“As first-time homebuyers continue to navigate a challenging housing market, we want them to know there are options. Our Tenfold team offers a variety of programs and services to empower individuals with knowledge and resources they can use on their journey to homeownership. Homebuyer education classes, pre-purchase counseling, and downpayment and closing cost assistance are just a few of the many ways prospective homeowners can take steps to turn their dream into a reality,” says Wilfred Bentley, Tenfold’s Chief Community Investment Officer.

The beautiful thing about this program is that it’s designed to be revolving, meaning it would see continuous impact as funds continue to support homeownership in Adams County for years to come.  Stay tuned for announcements regarding the official start and application period!

Robin Fitzpatrick is President of Adams Economic Alliance, which comprises three organizations: The Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), the Adams County Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) and the Adams County General Authority (ACGA). Follow us on Twitter (@AdamsAlliance), Facebook ( and LinkedIn (Adams Economic Alliance).

This article originally published in the Gettysburg Times, April 13, 2023