Pennsylvania announces tax credit and funding for affordable housing

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Image: Governor Tom Wolf/ Credit: The Governor’s office

Governor Tom Wolf announced $43.4 million in low-income housing tax credits and around $3.8 million in PennHOMES funding for the construction of 39 affordable multifamily housing developments in Pennsylvania.

The tax credits are administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. The developments receiving conditional funding will create an additional 1,941 rental housing units.

“These tax credits are crucial because they fill a current void in the housing marketplace,” Gov. Wolf said in a statement. “Low-income housing tax credits make possible the construction of affordable rental housing that otherwise wouldn’t get built. Given the ongoing demand for affordable housing, the apartments we make possible with this funding will make people’s lives better and will meet a critical need in communities statewide.”

Two proposals receiving conditional awards were selected by a jury of affordable housing professionals under a special “Innovation in Design” category.

Fallbrook, located in Carbondale and sponsored by United Neighborhood Community Development Corporation, will consist of new construction plus the rehabilitation of a former hospital into 36 units of affordable housing that promotes inter-generational living and services for its residents. The other development, Liberty 52, Stephen F. Gold Community Residences, will create 24 units of permanent supportive housing for individuals with physical disabilities and autism in Philadelphia. Liberty Housing Development Corp. is the sponsor of that development.

In a separate statement, Gov. Wolf announced recipients of a new round of funding for housing programs made available through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) fund. The governor named 137 housing and community development initiatives in 52 counties that will share a portion of the total $26.6 million in PHARE funding for fiscal year 2017-18.

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 major new funding sources that include a portion of the realty transfer tax and money from the National Housing Trust Fund.

PHFA reports that $20.5 million of the $26.6 million allocated will be used to fund housing projects benefiting households with incomes below 50 percent of the area median income. This represents 77 percent of the awarded funding.

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