PHFA issues RFP to fund projects to meet housing needs

RFP builds on success of the PHARE program to now fund proposals in all 67 counties; available funding totals $12.67 million

HARRISBURG – PHFA has released a Request for Proposals soliciting applications from organizations for projects and programs to improve the availability and affordability of housing across the Commonwealth. The RFP will use funding made available through a portion of the Realty Transfer Tax (RTT), and organizations from across the state are encouraged to apply.

This new RFP builds on the success of the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) fund, which receives a portion of the impact fees collected from natural gas companies operating in the state. Since 2012, the PHARE program has used that funding to support wide-ranging housing initiatives. But that funding could only be used to assist projects in counties that have working natural gas wells. This new RTT-based funding can be used to support projects in any of the state’s 67 counties. (The PHARE fund is also often referred to as the state’s Housing Trust Fund.)

Act 58 of 2015 provides revenue from the RTT to provide money to the PHARE fund. Governor Tom Wolf signed it into law in November 2015. This first year of RTT funding allocated through PHARE will make $12.67 million available for housing developments and programs.

“I’m sure local governments would agree that PHARE funding has been a big help in their efforts to address the need for more affordable housing in their communities,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. “This new RTT funding not only makes more money available for housing, but now that funding can be put to work addressing housing needs throughout the entire state. We’re looking for innovative ideas to best apply this funding to create or expand affordable housing.”

Organizations that may submit proposals for the use of this PHARE/RTT funding include: local governments; redevelopment and housing authorities; non-profit community development organizations; for-profit community development entities, individuals, partnerships or limited liability corporations; and business, neighborhood and downtown improvement districts.

A wide variety of projects will be funded. These may include, but are not limited to, programs to reduce homelessness; programs to make housing available to people on low and moderate incomes; mortgage or rental assistance programs; and housing counseling and foreclosure assistance programs, among many other possibilities.

The deadline to submit funding applications is January 13. Proposals will be evaluated by PHFA staff and presented to the agency’s board of directors for approval in April.

Organizations interested in applying for 2016 PHARE/RTT funding can learn more by participating in one of three informational webinars. All three webinars will cover the same information, including the RFP application and approval process, plus any questions received prior to or during the webinar. Webinar dates and times are:

October 26, 2016 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Interested participants may register via this link:
https://phfa.webex.com/phfa/onstage/g.php?MTID=ea26e47963dc410a4a139b736aba0068d

November 16, 2016 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Interested participants may register via this link:
https://phfa.webex.com/phfa/onstage/g.php?MTID=e2b307239bdf9e6a7838a615fdd89df1a

December 14, 2016 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Interested participants may register via this link:
https://phfa.webex.com/phfa/onstage/g.php?MTID=e9749b95d7c7b33db38502de8545471c8
Questions may be directed to Clay Lambert at PHFA at or by phone at 717.780.3924.

About PHFA
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 $12.8 billion of funding for more than 165,000 singlefamily home mortgage loans, helped fund the construction of 129,322 rental units, and saved the homes of more than 48,650 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.

Contact:
Scott Elliott
717-649-6522 (cell)

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