RFP: Redevelop affordable, sustainable housing to revitalize Pennsylvania cities

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), based in Harrisburg, has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) that invites applicants to participate in the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement/Realty Transfer Tax Fund (PHARE/RTT).

PHARE/RTT provides funds to projects/programs providing sustainable and comprehensive solutions to address housing and community development needs across the Commonwealth. At least 30 percent of PHARE funds must benefit households with household incomes which are less than 50 percent of the median area income.

Eligible applicants include:

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

The priorities for funding are set forth in the PHARE/RTT Final Plan and include:

  • Preserving the current stock of rental housing;
  • Developing new affordable rental housing to address unmet local need;
  • Addressing ongoing housing needs for reducing homelessness;
  • Aiding comprehensive housing and redevelopment efforts that address blighted and abandoned properties impacting concerted community revitalization efforts, supported by clearly articulated community plans; and
  • Creating new opportunities for affordable homeownership.

The criteria for selection are also spelled out in the PHARE/RTT Final Plan and include projects/programs that:

  • Show significant leveraging of other funds;
  • Have all funding committed and can move rapidly to implementation and utilization (Note: The RFP requires applicants to be prepared to commence within one year of approval for funding);
  • Embrace, partner with, and/or are incorporated into a larger local, county or regional housing development plan;
  • Satisfy local planning/zoning ordinances;
  • Affirmatively further fair housing;
  • Are specifically designed to address a clearly articulated need in a community or specific population;
  • Embrace innovative approaches to statewide housing and community development issues;
  • Address underserved and unmet housing needs across the Commonwealth; and
  • Otherwise meet overall goals of PHFA for tackling community redevelopment.

PHFA has scheduled three webinar training sessions to take place on October 26, 2016, November 16, 2016 and December 14, 2016 and intends to update its responses to Frequently Asked Questions as additional questions are raised by applicants.

Proposals must be received by PHFA no later than 2:00 P.M. on January 13, 2017.

Photo of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania by kev72 via Wikipedia.

See full RFP (PDF).

See PHFA website.

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