The Senate Housing and Urban Affairs Committee today (June 18) approved legislation introduced by Senator Elder Vogel that would increase state support for a program that promotes housing affordability and rehabilitation in communities across the Commonwealth.
Senate Bill 1380 would dedicate a portion of funds raised from the state’s Realty Transfer Tax (RTT) for use by the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund (PHARE) for projects across the state. The legislation does not increase the RTT rate, but solely changes how the revenues under the existing rate are used.
Currently, PHARE’s only revenue is from Act 13 impact fees and those monies may only be spent in Marcellus Shale counties. Revenues generated through impact fees provide resources for home repairs, new construction, rental assistance, home rehabilitation, and demolition.
“The economic case for strengthening PHARE – which has already proven its power to help alleviate blight, reduce homelessness, create jobs and drive economic activity – is compelling. But the broader good that we have the opportunity to offer vulnerable residents, families and communities, is even more profound,” Senator Vogel said. “Last week, Governor Corbett recognized the substantial importance of investing in Pennsylvania’s housing market, and I am hopeful that my colleagues in the General Assembly will view this legislation as another chance to make that investment work for families throughout the Commonwealth.”