The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency is accepting requests for state funds to improve housing in the Marcellus Shale region.
The funding, made available through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) Fund and Marcellus Shale impact fees, will include $2.5 million and an additional $5 million a year in the future.
Eligible applicants 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—resulting from Marcellus Shale impact fees provided to municipalities that exceed a certain percentage or dollar amount set by law.
“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,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr.
At least 15 percent of any funds awarded must be used to help people or families with incomes below 50 percent of the median area income. Also, funds cannot serve people or families with incomes above 200 percent of the median area income.
“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 home ownership opportunities, and other development ideas. We’re looking for proposals that reflect the needs and wants of the communities they’ll serve,” Hudson said.
Those interested in the funding must complete a Request for Proposals (RFP) at http://www.phfa.org/forms/rfp/2012PHARERFP.pdf. PHFA will host three public information sessions: Aug. 29, Sept. 20, and Oct. 3. More information about these sessions will be posted on the PHFA website: http://www.phfa.org/.