Homes for holidays

Published: December 9, 2017

By: Phyllis Chamberlain, Letters to the Editor,  Times Tribune

As we sat around our Thanksgiving tables this year, many families made time to express thanks. I noted that I am grateful to have a safe place to call home that is affordable to my family.

There are thousands of families with children who cannot say that they live in a safe home that they can afford and that provides them with stability and security. On any day, more than 16,000 Pennsylvanians experience homelessness.

This staggering number highlights why families across Pennsylvania should be thankful for the Pennsylvania Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund, which finances crucial investments in affordable housing that benefit communities across our commonwealth and allow us to tackle this problem head-on.

The seventh anniversary of the passage of the legislation that created PHARE occurred recently. The fund has provided millions of dollars to projects around the state to create safe, stable and affordable housing and has leveraged millions of dollars in additional private sector investments.

Many families experiencing homelessness are on waiting lists for new affordable housing projects. Those lists get shorter as more PHARE projects come to fruition.

Funding made available in 2017 will have achieved the following:

■ 752 new rental units were created.

■ 3,052 individuals or families will receive rental or utility assistance.

■408 homes were rehabbed.

■ 20 families will receive help purchasing homes.

■ 44 new single family homes will be created.

We have more work to do. Now is the time to rededicate ourselves to ending homelessness and expanding affordable housing opportunities by asking our leaders to expand programs like PHARE that invest in affordable housing.





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