FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 1, 2012
PHFA accepting proposals for use of PHARE and Marcellus Shale funding
to improve housing in areas impacted by natural gas drilling
Deadline for proposals is Nov. 2
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) today for projects to improve the availability and affordability of housing in the Marcellus Shale region of the state.
The funding is being made available through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) Fund and Marcellus Shale impact fees. This funding will include $2.5 million collected in 2011 and $5 million collected each year that follows. Additional funding to be added to the PHARE Fund may include Marcellus Shale impact fees provided to municipalities that exceed a certain percentage or dollar amount set by law.
Eligible applicants for the RFP include Pennsylvania counties that have adopted ordinances authorizing the imposition of an impact fee and that have producing, unconventional gas wells. Also eligible are municipalities that have excess (or spillover) funds deposited into the PHARE Fund, as noted above.
“We want the RFP to be as flexible as possible in considering ways we can expand the quantity and quality of housing in those communities impacted by the upsurge in natural gas drilling in the state,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr.
“We understand that different communities will undertake different approaches for addressing their housing needs, including such options as adding more multifamily housing, providing rental assistance, expanding homeownership opportunities, and other development ideas. We’re looking for proposals that reflect the needs and wants of the communities they’ll serve.
“The end result will be improved housing options suited to the needs of the people who live in those regions affected by the increase in natural gas drilling.”
The RFP stresses the agency’s desire to fund projects that will leverage other funds secured to improve housing in a community. Proposals must ensure that at least 15 percent of any funds awarded will be used to help people or families with incomes below 50 percent of the median area income. Also, proposals cannot serve people or families with incomes above 200 percent of the median area income. Additional requirements are described in detail in the RFP.
PHFA will host three public information sessions during which potential applicants can ask questions and get clarification on the requirements of the RFP. These will be held Aug. 29, Sept. 20 and Oct. 3. The August and October sessions will be conducted via webinars. The September session will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Camp Hill. More information about these sessions will be posted on the PHFA website.
The RFP is available by clicking here. The deadline for proposal submission is November 2 at 2 pm.
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency works to provide affordable homeownership and rental apartment options for older adults, low- and moderate-income families, and people with special housing needs. Through its carefully managed mortgage programs and investments in multifamily housing developments, PHFA also promotes economic development across the state. Since its creation by the legislature in 1972, it has generated $10.6 billion of funding for more than 148,233 single-family home mortgage loans and 83,000 rental units, while saving the homes of more than 46,000 families from foreclosure. PHFA programs and operations are funded primarily by the sale of securities, not by public tax dollars. PHFA is governed by a 14-member board.
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