The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency 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 $54 million.
PHARE receives its funding from a number of sources. These include the impact fee levied on natural gas drilling companies, a portion of the Realty Transfer Tax, and money from the National Housing Trust Fund. Funding is available for housing initiatives in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. PHFA is charged with administering the allocation of PHARE dollars.
“Now in its seventh year, it’s been gratifying to see the many ways this funding has been put to work expanding affordable housing options across the state,” said Brian A. Hudson Sr., PHFA executive director and CEO. “We’re grateful to Governor Wolf and the General Assembly for their continued support of the PHARE program that lets us address local housing needs.”
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, and the application is accessible here. Applications are due to PHFA no later than 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15.
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. 25 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Oct. 2 – 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Interested groups are encouraged to watch the PHARE webpage for links to be posted for webinar registration. The PHARE webpage is available on the PHFA website; click on the PHARE link at the bottom of the page under “Resources.” Questions also may be directed to Bryce Maretzki at PHFA via email 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:
- 6,137 individuals and families have received rental or utility assistance
- 1,972 homes have been rehabilitated and preserved for continued use
- 1,848 new rental units have been created
- 147 new single-family homes have been constructed
- 377 future home sites have been prepared through site acquisition and demolition
- 182 homeowners are receiving purchase assistance
- PHARE funds have been used to leverage an additional $564 million investment in housing in 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. 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.