Summaries of how PHARE’s different funding sources  can be used in your community

Each of these funding sources is independent of the other. A project may receive funding from one, two, or all three sources (if it is in the shale region). Detailed information on the funding plan and projects funded in the past can be found on PHFA’s website

Act 13- Impact Fees from Marcellus Shale Unconventional Wells (Fracking)

Act 13 imposes its own restrictions on PHARE. The money is to be used in counties with “producing unconventional [i.e., shale] gas wells”, and at least half of the funds go to 5th through 8th class counties. It may be used for:

  • projects … that increase availability of quality, safe, affordable housing for low-income and moderate-income individuals or families, persons with disabilities or elderly persons; and
  •  rental assistance … to persons or families whose household income does not exceed the area median income.
    Counties themselves are applicants for the money, but are encouraged to partner with nonprofit agencies and developers.

Click here to view the allocation plan and timeline for 2017 funds.

Act 58 of 2015 – Realty Transfer Tax Fund

Act 58 does not change the eligible uses. Eligible applicants for funding include:

  • Units of local government (counties, cities, boroughs, townships, town and home rule municipalities)
  • Redevelopment and/or housing authorities
  • Nonprofit organizations to include economic and community development organizations, housing corporations, etc.
  • For-profit community development or housing entities, individuals, partnerships or limited liability corporations.
  • Business improvement districts, neighborhood improvement districts, downtown improvement districts and similar organizations incorporated as authorities.

Click here to view the allocation plan and timeline for 2017 funds.
Click here to view project summaries for 2017.
Click here to view the funding recipients for 2017.

National Housing Trust Fund

NHTF money is almost all for rental housing for extremely low income households. The statute and regulations specify:

  • All funds are limited to extremely low income (ELI; 30% of area median income) or very low income households (VLI; 50% of area median income).
  • Not more than 10% of the money may be used for administration.
  • Not more than 10% of the money may be used for homeownership.
  • At least 75% of the rental funds must be for ELI households or those below the poverty level, whichever is greater.
  • During the first year, HUD may require that all funds, whether rental or homeownership, benefit ELI households. (The proposed rules do, in fact, require this.)

The funds may be used in a variety of ways, including new construction, rehab, preservation, operating subsidies, and downpayment and closing cost assistance. Public housing is not eligible for NHTF funds, but other federally subsidized developments are.

NHTF funds flow from the federal government to the states. In Pennsylvania the state agency will be PHFA via the PHARE fund. PHFA may then distribute the money to “recipients” which are defined as “an organization, agency, or other entity (including a public housing agency, or a for-profit entity or a nonprofit entity)….” More information on the NHTF is available at

Click here to view the allocation plan and timeline for 2017 funds.


2017 PHARE Plan

This Plan includes the following general sections: principles of PHARE, Elements of the Plan,
Application requirements and 2017 timelines. Thereafter, the Plan includes specific information and
program requirements relating to each of the Marcellus Shale (Act 13) funds, the RTT funds and the
HTF funds.




2017 Invitation to participate- NHTF

For the first year of HTF program activity, PHFA expects to provide funding to rental housing
properties which are also supported through the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (“Tax
Credit) and/or other federal funding sources. Pursuant to HTF, funds will be available to those
developments which provide units which are affordable to tenant whose income do not exceed the federal
poverty line or whose annual income do not exceed 30% of the median area income for the area, as
determined by HUD with adjustment for bedroom size.





2016 RFP – Act 58

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA or Agency) announces a Request for
Proposals (RFP) inviting applications to participate in the Pennsylvania Housing
Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement/Realty Transfer Tax Fund (PHARE/RTT).





Explanation of PHARE and its funding sources.




2008-2016 PA Housing Budget Chart

The amount of funding in the state budget given to housing starting in 2008.



NHTF Allocation Plan Guidance from HUD

The long-awaited NHTF Allocation Plan guidance from HUD has been posted to HUDCLIPS as Notice CPD-16-07. The Notice is primarily a short, seven-page restatement of the interim regulations.




Funding Strategies for Developing and Operating Extremely Low Income Housing

As we all know, the rents that ELI households can afford to pay often do not cover the operating costs of a rental project. Two recent studies by the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) and the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) identify funding strategies for ELI housing adopted at the state and local levels to address this issue. States can adapt these strategies when considering how to utilize HTF funds.




National Housing Trust Fund Developer Advisory Group

The national HTF Developers Advisory Group  created an Operating Assistance Work Group to discuss how states, advocates and developers could and should consider employing the operating assistance (OA) and OA reserves that are allowable under the national Housing Trust Fund regulations.





National Housing Trust Fund Operating Assistance Options and Considerations

Learn how to finance and operate affordable housing for ELI households to achieve 30-year affordability without depending on vouchers.