Affordable housing development projects in the state that have been hampered by higher construction material costs should get the boost they need with extra funding from the National Housing Trust Fund.
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency said it will receive $24.1 million from the fund this year, a 148% increase over the $9.7 million it received in 2020.
PHFA Executive Director and CEO Robin Wiessmann said this is the largest overall disbursement the fund has ever made. It gave out nearly $700 million this year. The 2020 HTF total funding amount, by comparison, was $322.5 million.
She noted that Pennsylvania had the fourth highest percentage increase among the 50 states that received funds.
Wiessmann said the spike in residential construction costs has prevented many Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects from closing on the financing needed for them to proceed.
To address that issue, the agency has decided to allocate funding from 2021 HTF monies to financially assist some LIHTC projects that have previously received tax credits so they can move forward.
“We’re all aware of how construction costs have jumped during the past year. Recognizing this, we will provide additional financial support to our tax credit projects which, in year 2020 alone, will provide nearly 1,800 additional units of needed rental housing,” she said.
Weismann said the additional funding was extremely welcome by her agency as the pandemic has demonstrated the urgent demand for more affordable rental housing.=