WEST CHESTER – April 17, 2017 – State Senator Andy Dinniman announced today that three Chester County organizations were awarded $900,000 in state funding to improve and expand affordable housing options for those in need.

“These funds will go a long way in supporting important programs that provide affordable and accessible housing options here in Chester County to some of our residents who need them the most,” Dinniman said.

The funding comes through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Program’s Real Estate Transfer Tax Fund (PHARE/RTT), administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.

The awards are as follows:

  • $500,000 to Liberty Housing LP for the Liberty Housing Preservation Project. The funds will be used to complete substantial renovations and improvements to 50 housing units at Liberty House in Phoenixville, which provides housing and supportive living services to individuals with mental illness and their families. All units will receive mechanical upgrades and the residential amenities will be increased by 60 percent to expand the facility’s supportive housing programming.
     
  • $300,000 to the Chester County Department of Community Development for the Decade to Doorways System Expansion. The funds will be used to expand homeless prevention services to include street outreach, a housing locator, and case management to residents in all of the county’s five shelter facilities. This expansion will bolster the program’s efforts by increasing staff capacity, developing diversion programs, and providing support services to residents in permanent housing. 
     
  • $100,000 to Home of the Sparrow, a nonprofit organization that partners with women facing homelessness to secure housing and achieve long-term sustainability. The funds will be used to provide affordable and sustainable housing solutions to vulnerable populations, primarily women aged 55 and older and women with children reentering society from the criminal justice system. Funds will be used for bridge housing and rental assistance, as well as other program efforts. It is anticipated that 100 households will benefit from this program.

Act 58 of 2015 recently expanded the PHARE program – also known as the State Housing Trust Funding – to include revenues from the real estate transfer tax (RTT). The additional RTT funds allowed PHFA to expand PHARE to all 67 counties in the Commonwealth.

Under Act 58 (PHARE/RTT), PHFA receives an allocation of funds equal to the lesser of 40 percent  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 is capped at $25 million annually.

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