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Money in the piggybank
Our years of hard work to establish the state Housing Trust Fund and to dedicate a portion of the Impact Fee to the Trust Fund have paid off. The PA Housing Affordability & Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund (PHARE = Housing Trust Fund) will get $8.018 million in 2012 to help local communities address the housing and homelessness needs in the Shale region.
Act 13, “Marcellus Shale Impact Fee” legislation, authorized three ways that housing could be addressed using the funds. As you may recall, the proceeds are divided into a local share and a state share. The legislation established (among many other things) both allowable and mandated uses for the funds.
To address housing needs, they established three avenues:
Base Allocation to the state Housing Trust Fund which is set at $2.5M for the first year and $5M thereafter.
Surplus Allocation to the state Housing Trust Fund– State legislators were concerned that municipalities not become overly dependent on impact fee proceeds, so they specified that anything in excess of 50% of previous year municipal budgets would also go into the state housing trust fund. [The surplus allocation in this case is $5.518m]
Local Share – Any community may designate a portion of their local share to housing as well. This means that if a municipality is particularly invested in a development or rehab project, they have the power to leverage local funds to make it happen.
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), the administering entity, has issued the RFP for PHARE. Counties and municipalities with wells paying fees are the eligible applicants. Funds may only be used in counties where wells have been drilled.
Proposals are due on November 2, 2012. Eligible counties and all other relevant information are available HERE.
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