Lititz, PA – June 10, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) – On Wednesday, at a rally held on the Capitol steps, Rep. John C. Bear (R-Lancaster) introduced legislation creating a one-time incentive program for new and existing homes and qualified renovations in an effort to revive Pennsylvania’s slumping housing market and overall employment picture.
Bear was joined by Republican Policy Committee Chairman Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York); Gary Lenker, vice chairman of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and past president of the Pennsylvania Builders Association; Greg Herb, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors; George Hanzimanolis, legislative chairman, Pennsylvania Association of Mortgage Brokers; and hundreds of supporters including homeowners.
“With the housing industry suffering from a historic downturn in sales and unemployment at a 25-year high, many businesses directly and indirectly related to this industry are seeing a substantial contraction and thus layoffs in their respective fields,” said Bear. “My bill would reprioritize the focus of Pennsylvania’s economic development programs to offer an incentive to new home buyers that would lead to new houses being built and more Pennsylvanians investing in their existing homes.”
Through this investment, Bear hopes to stimulate the housing market and jobs in the real estate, construction and home improvement trades, and numerous supporting industries.
The legislation is called the Pennsylvania Housing and Economic Revitalization Act. The bill envisions investing up to $100 million in the Pennsylvania economy by providing a $10,000 rebate (up to 5 percent of the purchase price) to purchasers of new homes, $5,000 for qualified renovation projects and $2,500 toward the purchase of a previously owned home.
“Here in Pennsylvania and across the country, the housing industry is hurting and many builders, trade groups and financial institutions are expecting further contraction in their industries,” said Saylor. “In this climate, we should be seeking ways to make it more attractive for people to build new homes and renovate existing ones. Several other states have had success with similar initiatives, why not Pennsylvania?”
To be eligible for the rebate, home buyers would have to occupy the home they are purchasing or renovating. Owners failing to occupy the residence they purchase would be liable to repay the rebate.
“The Senate addressed the need for state government to live within its means with Senate Bill 850, which would not increase taxes,” said Bear. “Now it is time to address jobs with a true stimulus bill that is one time and done and does not cost taxpayers down the road or mortgage our children’s future.”
Rep. John C. Bear
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Todd Abele
Member Site: RepBear.com
Caucus Site: PAHouseGOP.com