McNeill: $250,000 to aid in affordable housing program

HARRISBURG, Aug. 14 – State Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, today announced that $250,000 in funding has been awarded to the Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board for a housing program, via the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) fund.


“This funding announcement could not have come at a better time,” McNeill said. “There is a growing and most urgent need for affordable housing.”


McNeill explained the fund is managed by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. The funding will be used as follows:


  • PHARE funding will provide rehab of 11 owner-occupied units for households, homeless prevention for 110 households, rapid rehousing for 60 households and homeownership counseling for 50 prospective first-time homebuyers.


According to McNeill, funding for the PHARE program comes from three main sources. Since 2012, the program has received a portion of the 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. That is supplemented with two other funding sources: a portion of the realty transfer tax and money from the National Housing Trust Fund.


PHFA 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 $14.8 billion of funding for more than 179,850 single-family home mortgage loans, helped fund the construction of 136,215 rental units, distributed more than $109.2 million to support local housing initiatives and saved the homes of more than 50,300 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.