(HARRISBURG) Legislation establishing the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Program (PHARE) has been approved by the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee, according to its chairman Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock.
“The bill was approved by a unanimous vote,” Yaw said. “Senate Bill 599 will now go to the floor of the Senate for its consideration.”
PHARE is a crucial part of our overall effort to improve our economy and provide affordable housing to Pennsylvania residents Yaw said.
This bill, if approved would have Pennsylvania join 38 other states that have created similar housing trust funds.”
“The need is very great. More than 15,000 Pennsylvanians are homeless and over 32,646 Pennsylvania mortgages were in foreclosure at the end of 2007,” Yaw said. “Almost half the families who rent pay greater than 30% of their income for housing, leaving few dollars left to cover other family needs. And more than 90,000 families statewide are on the housing authority waiting lists.”
Yaw said the program would allow PHFA to develop resources to build, rehabilitate and preserve homes for low to moderate income individuals and families, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
The legislation also allows construction, rehabilitation and repair of homes, rental assistance, foreclosure prevention and counseling costs.
“Because Pennsylvania is facing a huge revenue shortfall, this bill does not include an appropriation,” the 23rd District Senator said. “But it does create the framework for a trust fund that will be in place to receive state and federal money when our economy gets back on track.”
“With this important framework in place, Pennsylvania will be able to add to the trust fund. The end result will be new jobs and tax revenue, and more importantly, affordable homes for many Pennsylvanians who need a decent place to live,” he said.
Contact: Adam Pankake