BETHLEHEM (August 14, 2020)State Senator Lisa Boscola announced today that three affordable housing projects in the 18th Senatorial District have been approved for up to $398,000 in funding through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund (PHARE), which is managed through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.

“Allocating funding to provide affordable housing opportunities is a critical function of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, which is magnified during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Boscola said.  “Funding through PHARE can be distributed into our local communities who are in desperate need to provide affordable housing opportunities.  By doing so, the Commonwealth can make a positive impact in revitalizing local communities,” she added.

The three projects approved for funding are:

  • Days Restart, LLC for the Dutchtown Commons project in the West Ward of the City of Easton was approved for $100,000. Dutchtown Commons is planned housing and retail development, which will include 39 one- and two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors of the proposed seven-story structure.
  • The Lehigh Conference of Churches for Lazarus House – Easton was approved for $48,000. Funding will be used to convert a single-family dwelling in disrepair into three affordable housing units for adults at risk of homelessness.
  • Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board (LVRHAB) for the Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless & Housing Collaborative was approved for $250,000. PHARE funding will be used for multiple initiatives of LVRHAB including the rehab of eleven owner-occupied units, homelessness prevention and homeownership counseling for 50 prospective first-time homebuyers.

Funding for the PHARE program comes from three main sources: portion of the impact fee from natural gas drilling, a portion of the realty transfer tax and money from the National Housing Trust Fund.  The three projects in the 18th Senatorial District were funding through the realty transfer tax.