Gov. Wolf announces funds to support affordable housing

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Gov. Wolf has announced funding for affordable housing through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) fund.

In total, $45.79 million will be distributed to support nearly 2,000 households in Pennsylvania to receive housing help. It will be distributed between 214 housing and community development initiatives across 67 counties.

The funding comes from three main sources. The PHARE program has received a portion of impact fees collected from natural gas companies operating in the state with the goal of addressing the housing shortage caused by the impact of drilling. They have been receiving a portion of these fees since 2012.

The two other sources include a portion of the realty transfer tax and money from the National Housing Trust Fund.

The money will impact Pennsylvania households by assisting with the following:

  • Rental/utility assistance
  • Down payment/closing cost assistance for first-time homebuyers
  • Blight remediation initiatives
  • Rental housing preservation and rehabilitation
  • Other innovative projects and programs

At least $34.4 million of the funding will be used to fund housing projects for households with incomes that are below 50% of the area median income, representing 71% of the awarded funding.

“The PHARE program is successful due to its flexibility and its ability to leverage local partnerships and leadership to effectively address broad housing needs,” said Gov. Wolf. “It encourages local organizations and elected officials to come together and jointly decide the best way to enhance their community’s housing stock. PHARE is making a positive difference across the state.”

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