HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency today is issuing a Request for Proposals soliciting applications from organizations for projects to improve the availability and affordability of housing across the commonwealth. Funding for this RFP is being provided through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) Fund. The total PHARE funding available this year exceeds $41 million.
PHARE receives its funding from the impact fee levied on natural gas drilling companies and a portion of the Realty Transfer Tax. Funding is available for housing initiatives in all of Pennsylvania's 67 counties. PHFA is charged with administering the allocation of PHARE dollars.
"The PHARE program has been providing much needed funding for local housing initiatives for the past eight years," said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Robin Wiessmann. "It is today more clear than ever that affordable housing is critical for people to be successful in life, and PHARE has proven to be a tremendous tool for helping counties improve their housing resources for local residents."
PHARE applications can be completed entirely online, eliminating the need for paper submissions and simplifying the process for applicants. The RFP is located on PHFA's website at https://www.phfa.org/legislation/act105.aspx, and the application is accessible on the PHARE webpage at https://phare.phfa.org/. Applications are due to PHFA no later than 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020.
PHFA is planning two informational webinars for groups interested in applying for PHARE funds. Both webinars will cover the same information. Webinar dates and times are:
Sept. 23 – 10 a.m. to noon
Sept. 29 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Interested groups are encouraged to watch the PHARE webpage, noted above, for links to be posted for webinar registration. Questions also may be directed to Bryce Maretzki at PHFA via email at [email protected] or by phone at 717.780.1867.
The PHARE fund has been allocating money for local housing initiatives since 2012. These funds have resulted in significant benefits that include:
More than 7,000 individuals and families have received rental or utility assistance
More than 2,000 homes have been rehabilitated and preserved for continued use
More than 2,500 new rental units have been created
175 new single-family homes have been constructed
400 future home sites have been prepared through site acquisition and demolition
More than 200 new residents have received assistance to purchase their first home
PHARE funds have been used to leverage an additional $700 million investment in housing across Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency 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 138,000 rental units, distributed more than $121 million to support local housing initiatives, and saved the homes of nearly 50,400 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.