PHARE stands for Pennsylvania’s Housing Affordability Rehabilitation and Enhancement Act. Also known as the state housing trust fund, PHARE expands opportunity for people and communities in need by funding local housing programs.
PHARE is a flexible, sustainable revenue source to support the housing development, blight, homeownership and homelessness work that local communities need.
- Return on Investment: The $26.2 million invested leveraged $191.0 million.
- Economic Impact: Every $10 million from the fund creates up to 200 jobs.
- Producing Homes Within Reach of People Who Need Them: Between 2013-2015, 3,117 properties were improved and 2,786 families were helped.
In November 2010, Gov. Rendell signed HB 60 establishing PHARE as a statewide fund to support all manner of affordable housing work. Unfortunately, Act 105 did not provide any money. Still, we think of the trust fund as kind of a giant piggy bank that can take in funds from different sources.
PHARE’s first funding source came with the establishment of the Marcellus Shale Impact Fees in 2012, Act 13. PHARE gets a minimum of $5 million a year. This money can only be used in counties that have active shale wells, and thus the Housing Alliance engaged in an active campaign for three years to find an additional funding source for the Trust Fund, so that all counties in PA could benefit from additional housing resources.
In November of 2015, Act 58 was passed which makes way for safe, affordable homes for Pennsylvanians in all 67 counties and creating economic opportunities in the process. Act 58 directs the Treasurer to transfer money from the Realty Transfer Tax (RTT) to PHARE. PHARE receives 40% of the growth in revenue over the 2014-15 revenue projection, capped at $25 million a year.
PHARE will also be receiving funds from the National Housing Trust Fund(NHTF) starting in 2016.
The NHTF was created by Congress in 2008 as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act. It was to be funded with proceeds from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but a few months later those entities went into receivership and therefore no money went into the NHTF.
In 2015 the director of the agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie decided they were healthy enough to start sending money to the NHTF, beginning in 2016. About $4 million will go into PHARE from the NHTF late this year.
Explanation of the State Housing Trust Fund and its funding sources
Download the PDF White paper on the PA State Housing Trust Fund by the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania