The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency today is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) 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 2015 for wells drilled or active in 2014, as well as Marcellus Shale impact fee funds provided to municipalities that exceeded a certain percentage or dollar amount set by law.
Eligible applicants for the 2015 RFP include Pennsylvania counties that have adopted ordinances authorizing the imposition of an impact fee and that have unconventional gas wells.
“This funding is helping to address the housing shortage in Marcellus Shale counties,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. “We have been impressed with the resourcefulness of local governments and their ability to use this funding to address their own unique housing challenges. They have been able to customize their use of this funding to achieve the greatest local results.”
Today’s RFP stresses the agency’s desire to fund projects that will leverage other funds and partnerships to improve housing in a community. 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. Additional requirements are described in detail in the RFP.
PHFA will host two public information sessions during which potential applicants can ask questions and get clarification about the requirements of the RFP. These will be held via webinar on July 1 and July 16. More information about these sessions will be posted on the PHFA website.
Local leaders seeking to apply for funding are advised to check the attachment with the RFP, since some counties that were eligible in 2014 may not be eligible this year, due to a drop in the number of active wells in some areas.
The RFP is available on the PHFA website. The deadline for proposal submission is August 14.
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