Housing programs in Lehigh Valley will share more than $3.8 million through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) fund, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) said Thursday.
PHFA, across the state, has identified 309 housing and community development initiatives, 10 in Lehigh Valley, that will share a portion of the total $61.5 million in PHARE funding for fiscal year 2022-23.
The PHARE fund is managed by PHFA.
“PHARE is one of our most popular programs because local leaders and organizations determine the best application of the funding to address their housing needs,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Robin Wiessmann. “During the last decade, the PHARE program has an impressive record of accomplishment, in great part because of the high quality of the proposals submitted by groups who best understand the housing needs in their communities.”
Funding for these PHARE awards comes from two main sources. Since 2012, the program has received a portion of the impact fees collected from natural gas companies operating in the state with the goal of addressing the housing shortage caused by the impact of drilling.
That is supplemented with funding provided by a portion of the realty transfer tax. The PHARE fund is often referred to as the state’s Housing Trust Fund.
In Lehigh Valley, four projects were chosen in Berks County; three in Lehigh County; and three in Northampton County.
PHFA anticipates that the PHARE funding will impact households through a variety of affordable housing efforts including:
PHFA staff report that at least 66% of the $61.5 million allocated Thursday will be used to fund housing projects benefiting households with incomes below 50% of the area median income.
A list of the proposals receiving PHARE funding is available at www.phfa.org/legislation/act105.aspx. See the bullet for “Funding Announcements.”