HARRISBURG, Pa., July 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency is publishing notice of an amendment to the PHARE program to incorporate the addition of new realty transfer tax (Act 58 of 2015) revenue. The amended PHARE plan will be published in this week’s Pennsylvania Bulletin, inviting public comment.
PHARE is the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund, which was established by the passage of Act 105 of 2010. Since then, PHARE has been funded mainly from natural gas impact fees, and it has supported efforts to improve housing affordability in those counties that have active natural gas wells.
In November 2015, Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 58, which directs certain realty transfer tax receipts to the PHARE program. The proposed RTT plan amendment enables PHARE to financially support selected housing programs in all 67 Pennsylvania counties. In 2015, before the passage of Act 58 when it was funded primarily by natural gas impact fees, PHARE supported affordable housing programs in 37 counties. PHFA administers the PHARE program.
Following a 45-day comment period and final approval of the amendment by PHFA’s board, interested and eligible organizations will be able to apply for funding to support the expansion and enhancement of affordable housing in all Pennsylvania counties. PHFA expects to announce a Request for Proposals for the use of PHARE/RTT funding this fall.
“We’re grateful to the state legislature and the governor for the provision of this additional funding so that the PHARE program can expand the number of housing initiatives that are supported and make an even bigger impact statewide,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. “We’re always working to expand affordable housing in Pennsylvania, and this new funding will help us better address the Commonwealth’s housing challenges.”
The PHARE/RTT plan amendment can be found on the PHFA website at www.PHFA.org. Click on “PHARE” on the bottom of the homepage, and then click on “Act 58 of 2015.”
The priorities for PHARE/RTT funding will be outlined in the upcoming RFP. To be eligible for financial support, organizations must commit to allocating 30 percent of the funds to benefit individuals and families with incomes below 50 percent of the area median income. Eligible applicants will include local governments; non-profit and for-profit groups; and economic, community and housing development organizations.
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency works to provide affordable homeownership and rental housing options for older adults, low- and moderate-income families, and people with special housing needs. Through its carefully managed mortgage programs and investments in multifamily housing developments, PHFA also promotes economic development across the state. Since its creation by the legislature in 1972, it has generated more than $12.6 billion of funding for more than 164,000 single-family home mortgage loans, helped fund the construction of 129,322 rental units, and saved the homes of more than 48,600 families from foreclosure. PHFA programs and operations are funded primarily by the sale of securities and from fees paid by program users, not by public tax dollars. The agency is governed by a 14-member board.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency