State Senator Art Haywood made the following statement on the passage and signing of the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Act (PHARE). A celebration of PHARE is planned by Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania for tomorrow:
HARRISBURG, November 17, 2014: “In the midst of Pennsylvania’s budget impasse we have achieved a tremendous breakthrough that will create affordable housing and decrease blight across the commonwealth. The legislature passed and the Governor signed the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Act to provide new money for the creation of affordable housing after four years of advocacy. The new funding will come from a share of the state real estate transfer tax. There will be no increase in this tax; a portion of revenue from the existing tax will simply be transferred to the Housing Trust Fund to create affordable housing.
Many neighbors come to my office looking for an affordable place to live. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, we have a statewide shortage of 266,000 rental homes that are both affordable and available to households earning about $20,000 or less. At the same time, we have communities with blighted homes in need of revitalization. These abandoned properties can become affordable homes for our neighbors. As an attorney who has concentrated on creating affordable housing for over twenty-five years, it is fantastic to have had the opportunity to be an advocate for this legislation in my first year in the State Senate, and to see it signed into law. We have a duty to help a neighbor and a stranger. This legislation does exactly that.”
Contact: Melissa Ostroff