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HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY

Amendment to 2016 PHARE Plan; Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund/Realty Transfer Tax

[46 Pa.B. 4305]
[Saturday, July 30, 2016]

 Governor Wolf signed the act of November 4, 2015 (P.L. 222, No. 58), which, in part, directs certain Realty Transfer Tax (RTT) receipts to the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund (PHARE) established by the act of November 23, 2010 (P.L. 1035, No. 105) (PHARE Act). This new revenue source will expand the PHARE program to the 67 counties of this Commonwealth.

 Under the PHARE Act, the Housing Finance Agency's (Agency) PHARE program will receive an allocation of RTT funds based on a formula using 2014 as a base. (The annual amount available for the PHARE program will be equal to the lesser of 40% of the difference between the total dollar amount of the RTT imposed under section 1102-C of the Tax Reform Code of 1971 (72 P.S. § 8102-C) collected for the prior fiscal year and the total amount of RTT estimated for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014.) The PHARE/RTT fund will be capped at $25 million annually. Funding allocations and reporting will be completed in accordance with PHARE legislative requirements.

Purpose

 The PHARE/RTT program will provide funds to projects/programs providing sustainable and comprehensive solutions to address housing and community development needs across this Commonwealth.

PHARE/RTT Priorities for Funding

 These funds will be directed to address clearly articulated needs in communities based on the following priorities:

 1) Preservation of the current stock of rental housing or the development/creation of new affordable rental housing to address unmet local need. This includes projects/programs for the elderly in danger of losing their homes and rental assistance to help families remain in their residence.

 2) Funding for projects/programs to address ongoing housing needs for reducing homelessness, including specific and targeted vulnerable populations (veterans, persons with disabilities, supportive housing for the elderly, re-entry population, families and youth).

 3) Funding for comprehensive housing and redevelopment efforts that address blighted and abandoned properties impacting concerted community revitalization efforts, supported by clearly articulated community plans. This could include a variety of housing/redevelopment strategies such as acquisition, demolition, construction, rehabilitation, site remediation and other efforts.

 4) Creating new opportunities for affordable homeownership. This may include closing cost/down payment assistance, financial education/counseling or other forms of assistance to potential first-time homebuyers as well as the development/construction of new homes and rehabilitation of existing housing.

 5) Other efforts that address unmet housing and community development needs. This could include projects and programs to assist persons living in manufactured communities, homeowners to remain in their homes through renovation/mortgage/utilities or other forms of housing services and assistance, addressing environmental conditions such as lead paint abatement and emergency temporary housing needs resulting from disasters.

Priorities for Selection

 PHARE/RTT awards will be directed to projects and programs based on the following criteria for selection:

 • Projects/programs which are able to show significant leveraging of other funds (local, State and Federal, public and private) to ensure maximum impact.

 • Projects/programs that have all funding committed and can move rapidly to implementation and utilization.

 • Projects/programs that embrace, partner with or are incorporated into a larger local, county or regional housing development plan.

 • Projects/programs that satisfy local planning/zoning ordinances.

 • Projects/programs that affirmatively further fair housing.

 • Funding for rental housing projects (five or more units) will adhere to the Agency's development processes.

 • Projects/programs that are specifically designed to address a clearly articulated need in a community or specific population.

 • Projects/programs that embrace innovative approaches to Statewide housing and community development issues address underserved and unmet housing needs across this Commonwealth and otherwise meet overall agency goals for tackling community redevelopment.

Application Process

 In accordance with the PHARE program, the Agency will develop and publish a Request for Proposals (RFP) in fall 2016 with applications due in late fall. It is expected that the Agency's Board will be presented with recommendations for funding in March 2017.

 Applicants eligible to receive PHARE/RTT funds include units of local government (counties, cities, boroughs, townships, town and home rule municipalities), nonprofit and for-profit entities, and economic, community and housing developments organizations in the 67 counties of this Commonwealth. All applicants are expected to satisfy the affordability requirements of the PHARE program and commit to a long-term sustainable program to maintain affordability (which may be documented with restrictive covenants or other program documents), applicants must abide by prevailing wage when applicable. All funds will have expenditure deadlines and approved programs/projects must be started within 1 year of funding reward.

 Additional requirements for application submission will be outlined in the annual RFP.

BRIAN A. HUDSON, Sr., 
Executive Director

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-1329. Filed for public inspection July 29, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]



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