Legislature Raises Cap on PHARE Fund for Housing by $20M
The General Assembly has approved a $20 million cap increase for the Pa. Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) Fund. The increase, which will take effect in 2023, will raise the capped amount of Realty Transfer Tax funds available to PHARE from $40 million to $60 million annually.
LAMPa advocates and coalition partners in the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania had pushed for bipartisan legislation that would have raised the cap to $100 million over three years, the progress is welcome, said LAMPa director Tracey DePasquale.
“There is a housing crisis in this country and in our commonwealth,” DePasquale said. “We see the consequences in our communities, and our congregations are stretching to meet the needs at our doorsteps. Although we applaud the significant investments in housing security in this legislative session, the need demands a sustained response, and we will continue to press for one.
“Thank you to all who contacted their lawmakers in support of this increase. Your witness to the struggles of our neighbors who are unsheltered or housing insecure was powerful.”
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While the exact language of our sponsors’ bills was not included in the final legislative vehicle for lifting the PHARE funding cap, we join the Housing Alliance in thanking senators Elder Vogel (R, 47) and Art Haywood (D,4) and Representative Kurt Masser (R,107) for introducing and advocating for SB 1254 and HB 2665, making this measure a top priority.