Funding Available: Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency Seeks Applicants for Realty Transfer Tax Fund


The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) inviting applicants to participate in the 2020/2021 Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund (PHARE) Program.

The 2020 PHARE Plan outlines principles and goals of the program, elements of the Plan, application requirements, and the timeline for funding. The current round of PHARE funding will make awards available through the following expected funding sources:

  • Marcellus Shale Impact Fee

  • Realty Transfer Tax

PRC would like to highlight the Realty Transfer Tax Fund specifically, as nonprofits are eligible to apply.

PHARE Funding Priorities

1. 4% Tax Credit Projects

  • Developments applying for 4% tax credits for large-scale preservation to increase the availability of affordable housing to low and extremely low-income households.

  • Limit of TWO applications per developer AND a maximum request of $1,000,000 of PHARE/RTT funding.

  • All projects submitted must be a minimum of 50 units and priority will be given to projects with greater than 75 units.

2. Preservation/Rehabilitation/Renewal

  • Rehabilitation of existing housing stock including owner-occupied rehabilitation.

  • Demolition of blighted, abandoned or otherwise at-risk housing.

  • Reclaiming or renewal of brownfields or vacant land where housing was once located for community green space.

3. Rental Housing Creation

  • Development of new and affordable rental units.

  • May include acquisition, pre-development costs, construction and/or significant rehabilitation, and demolition where the development of affordable housing is the end goal.

4. Homelessness Prevention

  • Address ongoing needs for individuals and families at risk for homelessness, including (but not limited to) rapid re-housing, rent/utility/transportation assistance, landlord outreach, case management, and short-term emergency shelter care.

  • Increase the availability of integrated housing opportunities, supportive services, and resources for vulnerable populations such as veterans, the re-entry population, persons dealing with addiction disorder(s), persons with disabilities, and at-risk youth.

5. Innovative Housing Solutions

  • Piloting unique and creative approaches to addressing unmet housing needs and historic disparities in housing.

6. Homeownership

  • Development of additional affordable for-sale housing units, including (but not limited to) the costs for pre-development, construction, and/or significant rehabilitation.

  • Programming and homeownership down payment and closing cost assistance for first-time homebuyers and vulnerable/underrepresented communities.

7. Housing Counseling and Financial Education

  • Activities providing various types of housing counseling, including pre and post purchase, financial education, foreclosure prevention and other forms of direct client counseling to assist homeowners or renters.

Realty Transfer Tax Fund

PHFA receives an allocation of funds equal to the lesser of forty percent (40%) of the difference between the total dollar amount of the Realty Transfer Tax imposed under Section 1102-C of the Tax Reform Code of 1971 collected for the prior fiscal year and the total amount of RTT estimated for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014. The PHARE/RTT fund will be capped at $40 million annually. The PHARE/Realty Transfer Tax funds are available for applications in all 67 counties of the Commonwealth.

Eligible Applicants to receive PHARE/Realty Transfer Tax funds include:

  • Units of local government (counties, cities, boroughs, townships, towns, and home rule municipalities)

  • Nonprofit organizations

  • Redevelopment and/or housing authorities

  • 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

Applicants for PHARE/Realty Transfer Tax funds are eligible to apply for an award from additional PHARE funding sources if they meet the applicable fund’s eligibility requirements.

Organizations applying for PHARE/Realty Transfer Tax funds will be limited to submitting no more than three (3) PHARE/RTT funding requests (applications).

To read more, click here.