HARRISBURG – State Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) today addressed attendees at the annual Pennsylvania Association of Housing and Redevelopment Agencies (PAHRA) legislative conference at the Harrisburg Hilton.
PAHRA is an affiliation of Pennsylvania’s housing and redevelopment authorities, community development agencies and nonprofit corporations throughout the state that disseminates various information on housing and community development to its membership.
Yaw offered a description of planned projects in his district that will be aided by Act 105 monies, also known as the Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund (PHARE).
“Last year, $2,866,000 was authorized by PHFA, which administers the PHARE fund,” Yaw said. “As a result of PHARE funding, communities have fast tracked many projects targeting blighted or abandoned properties. These projects will remediate existing property with environmental deficiencies and address housing needs for seniors. An example of this is the City of Williamsport’s 2013 Housing Strategy, which will invest $26 million directly into the community,” Yaw added.
Development of hotels and motels in the Northern Tier has also increased, according to Yaw.
“In Lycoming County, five new hotels have been constructed since 2009, three hotels have been expanded and three more hotels are in the planning stages. Bradford County has seen nine new hotels and the Hotel Harrington in Sullivan County constructed a brand new wing with 10 new rooms.”
As a result of Marcellus Shale development, the number of core and ancillary businesses have increased substantially throughout the state.
“1,200 new core and ancillary industries have been created since 2009,” Yaw said. “This number does not include existing businesses that have expanded their current operations since gas development began. There is no question that we have seen significant growth.”
In addition to Yaw, featured speakers during the ‘Marcellus Shale 2013′ panel discussion included Bryce Maretzki, Director of Business Development at the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) and Cindy Daley, Policy Director for the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania.
PAHRA’s legislative conference runs from March 3rd through March 6th and will hold 20 educational sessions for affordable housing professionals and legal workshops on employment issues. Invited speakers for this year’s conference also include Governor Tom Corbett and Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
Contact: Rita Zielonis