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2019-2020 Legislative Agenda

Increase resources for PHARE

Accomplished! On June 28, the Governor signed legislation passed by the General Assembly that will raise the cap on funding for PHARE, the state’s housing trust fund, from $25 million to $40 million. The new funding will help to create more affordable housing, provide services that helps keep Pennsylvanians in their homes, helps low-income people become first time homeowners, and provides funding to communities to address blight. Read more here.

Create a State Housing Tax Credit

State housing tax credit legislation, SB 30, is modeled on the highly successful federal low- income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program, which is responsible for approximately  90% of affordable rental housing construction and renovations in the country. Here in Pennsylvania, LIHTC is oversubscribed (three applications are received for every one that can be funded). That means:
    1. The federal model is working in Pennsylvania; and
    2. There is private capital currently available that can be, but is not currently, harnessed for the creation of affordable housing opportunities.
Combining the federal and state programs creates efficiencies by aligning these limited resources. Approximately a third of the 50 states have enacted a state housing tax credit.
STATUS: SB 30 was introduced in and passed through the Senate Urban Affairs committee. It is now in the Senate Appropriations committee.

Expand permanent supportive housing for the homeless and special needs populations; Keep the homeless, elderly, and disabled populations stably housed, in their own homes, and out of institutions by providing services through Medicaid

  People living with severe disabilities, including mental illness, chronic health conditions, and substance use disorders, too often cycle between the streets, hospital emergency rooms, and jails. This cycle is tragic and costly. There is a model called permanent supportive housing that ends this tragic cycle by keeping vulnerable populations stably housed and reducing the burden on and costs to the health care and corrections systems. Unfortunately, permanent supportive housing is not readily available and wait lists are long. One of the challenges is securing a reliable source of funding for the services component of this model. Medicaid can be used for the service component of this model if the state applies to the federal government for a waiver. In addition, the impact of this state policy change can assist the elderly and disabled populations to remain in their own homes. STATUS: The Housing Alliance has been engaging its members and partners to build support for making this change at the state level.

STATUS: The Housing Alliance has been engaging its members and partners to build support for making this change at the state level.