Caltagirone bill to fight homelessness, blight passes House unanimously

READING, April 14 – State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks, applauded the bipartisan support his bill received to pass the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Tuesday. The bill would increase affordable housing in the state to address blight and help decrease the state’s growing population of homeless people.

“Homelessness does not discriminate,” Caltagirone said. “It happens in our cities and rural areas, affecting veterans, youth and families. This bill presents a path to help Pennsylvania fight homelessness by creating more affordable housing. I’m thrilled my colleagues – including those across the aisle – threw their support behind this bill during a time when so many Pennsylvanians don’t know what the future holds.”

House Bill 896 passed by a 202-0 vote.

Caltagirone said this legislation is particularly timely as the bill will ultimately facilitate the development of additional housing for homeless people once the current emergency situation has ended and housing construction resumes.

HB 896 would expand the eligibility criteria for the Neighborhood Assistance Program to include a homeless housing assistance project within land bank jurisdictions.

Caltagirone introduced the bill, and its companion legislation, HB 897, to help fight homelessness and blight.

“Despite a lack of affordable housing, too many times, troubled properties cannot even be given away to authorities because of real estate transfer taxes and expense,” Caltagirone said. “My bill would help eliminate this hindrance to help provide the housing our region and state desperately needs.” 

The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote.