Funding offered to improve housing in Pa. areas impacted by gas drilling

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HARRISBURG, Pa., — The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency is issuing a Request for Proposals for projects to improve the availability and affordability of housing in the Marcellus Shale region of the state.

The funding to address housing needs comes from Marcellus Shale impact fees.

Those fees are directed to, and administered from, the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) Fund.
This year’s funding includes $5 million received in 2014 for wells drilled in 2013, as well as Marcellus Shale impact fee funds provided to municipalities that exceeded a certain percentage or dollar amount set by law.

Eligibility

Eligible applicants for the 2014 RFP include Pennsylvania counties that have adopted ordinances authorizing the imposition of an impact fee and that have unconventional gas wells.

Also eligible are municipalities that have excess (or spillover) funds deposited into the PHARE Fund, as noted above.

“Our first two years of administering this funding have confirmed the wisdom of letting local governments determine where best to make vital housing investments,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr.
“We encourage county and municipal governments to take advantage of this PHARE funding to help them address their most critical housing needs. ”

Targeted housing

Proposals must ensure that at least 30 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.

The agency will host a public information session via webinar July 21 during which potential applicants can ask questions and get clarification on the requirements of the RFP. More information will be posted on the PHFA website.

The deadline for proposal submission is Aug. 15.

About the Author

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fosterk96. More Stories by Kristy Foster Seachrist

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