Brown, Bizzarro take bipartisan approach to empowering first-time homebuyers

HARRISBURG, March 4  – In an effort to strengthen communities and provide stability for families, state Reps. Rosemary Brown, R-Monroe, and Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, reintroduced House Bill 730 that would establish a new savings account program for first-time homebuyers.

The First-time Homebuyers Savings Accounts would allow account holders to make tax deductible contributions at a total of $50,000 over a 10-year period, with an annual contribution cap of $5,000 for single taxpayers and $10,000 for those filing a joint return.

“Homeownership is an important part of establishing roots. It’s difficult to do that without having a healthy savings account and this bill would give Pennsylvanians a powerful tool to save and prepare for the homeownership experience,” said Brown. “This bill will also benefit younger Pennsylvanians and those who have yet to embark on the journey of homeownership.”

Bizzarro added, “Rent costs are out of control. More and more people are looking to own and offering this savings program will give many the boost needed for hardworking people to achieve the stability that homeownership affords.”

According to the National Association of Realtors and Home Ownership Matters, the program has the potential to boost home sales by 4,000 annually across the state and economic impacts are estimated at up to more than $68 million.

“Homeownership is down to under 40 percent amongst the under 35 age group. Giving first-time homebuyers a savings tool can empower them to move forward with making decisions that ultimately are financially sound and can benefit their futures,” Bizzarro shared. “I am happy to partner with Rep. Brown on this legislation.”

A previous version of the bill passed the House in the 2018-19 Legislative Session but stalled in the Senate Urban Affairs Committee.

The bill now awaits consideration from the House Urban Affairs Committee.