On november 24th, Governor Ed Rendell signed into law House Bill 60, which establishes the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Program. The program, currently awaiting federal funding, is designed to “provide funding for housing projects to benefit older adults, people with disabilities and low-income residents.”
The program will provide funding to the following types of projects:
(1) Projects to provide safe and sanitary dwellings for sale or rent to low-income and moderate-income individuals or families.
(2) Projects to increase the availability or quality of housing for elderly persons.
(3) Projects to increase the availability or quality of accessible housing for persons with disabilities.
(4) Projects to prevent or reduce homelessness.
(5) Projects to encourage the development and rehabilitation of distressed neighborhoods.
(6) Projects to provide mortgage or rental assistance, including housing counseling, foreclosure prevention and
(7) Projects to provide loans, low-interest loans or grants to low-income and moderate-income individuals or families who are owner-occupants for repairs and improvement to sustain or increase the conditions of the home.
For the following purposes:
(1) Predevelopment activities, including title searches, market studies, project planning, architectural services, legal and engineering studies and related fees.
(2) Acquisition and disposition of real or personal property.
(3) Site preparation, including demolition of existing structures and remediation of environmental conditions.
(4) Construction, reconstruction, alteration and repair of existing structures, improvements and infrastructure.
State Representative Peter J. Daley, DFayette, a key sponsor of the bill, sees the bill as both a boon for Pennsylvania families and the economy at large, “It’s going to do a lot of good things for PA, because when you build houses you create and grow the economy” he said, “it’s going to affect probably 30,000 families in Pennsylvania.”