Governor Wolf signed into law Wednesday (November 4) a House Bill increasing state support for a program that will promote housing affordability and rehabilitation efforts in communities across the Commonwealth, according to Senator Elder Vogel, prime sponsor of the Senate version of the measure.
House Bill 792, which was enacted as Act 58 of 2015, dedicates 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 new law does not increase the RTT rate, but solely changes how the revenues under the existing rate are used. Senator Vogel introduced the measure in the Senate as Senate Bill 566.
Prior to Act 58, PHARE’s only revenue was derived from Act 13 impact fees with the restriction that those monies could only be spent in Marcellus Shale counties.
“I am pleased that the General Assembly approved this bill and that the Governor signed it into law. PHARE has a proven record of helping alleviate blight, reduce homelessness, create jobs and drive economic activity. Through this new law we have a greater opportunity to help vulnerable residents, families and communities,” Senator Vogel said.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, there is a statewide shortage of 272,045 rental home units for extremely low-income households. The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that 270,000 Pennsylvanians are homeless, including those living doubled up with friends or family.