Eight Lancaster County-based affordable housing initiatives are among the recipients of nearly $45 million in state funding from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the governor’s office announced Thursday.
The money comes from the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) fund, which was established by lawmakers in 2010. The fund sends state tax revenue from natural gas operators and real estate transfers to local housing programs and projects each year.
PHARE funding can go to a variety of programs, from providing affordable rental housing for low-income or elderly households to homelessness prevention, according to the agency’s website.
Under state law, 30% of the PHARE funding must go to programs that serve households that make less than 50% of median area income, which is $37,350 for a household of three in Lancaster County. The metric is calculated each year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Economic Development.
The money going to projects in Lancaster County total more than $1.6 million this year. The local awards are as follows:
- $185,000 to Building and Supporting Entrepreneurship of Southeast Lancaster Inc. for a homeownership assistance program.
- $200,000 to Elizabethtown Community Housing & Outreach Services to help build six new transitional housing units.
- $200,000 to Lancaster Area Habitat for Humanity to build six homes in the Sunnyside neighborhood for first-time homebuyers.
- $250,000 to the Lancaster City Housing Authority to replace an old radiator system with heat pumps at the Church Street Towers.
- $250,000 to the Lancaster County Land Bank Authority for its Housing Access Through Blight Remediation program.
- $150,000 to the Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership, now called Tenfold, for services to help vulnerable renters find new housing in the area.
- $300,000 to SACA Development Corp. for the second phase of its Conestoga North development – nine new townhomes with household-income limits.
- $50,000 to Tenfold for counseling and education services for eviction and foreclosure prevention. This program also operates in York County.
The PHARE funding announcement comes two weeks after the Lancaster County Land Bank Authority and the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority each received grants for demolition projects in Columbia through the Blight Remediation Program at Department of Community and Economic Development.
The land bank’s award of $49,000 will help fund demolitions at South Fifth Street and Avenue H in Columbia. The redevelopment authority’s $39,000 grant will help pay for a demolition at 332 Locust St. in Columbia.