PHFA to provide funds to housing projects in Marcellus Shale region

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency has issued an RFP to make state funds available for low-income housing projects in the Marcellus Shale region, the agency announced Wednesday. In February, radio station WPSU reported an uptick in homelessness and the rising cost of rent as Tioga County and others saw an influx of drillers with plenty of dollars move into the area.  That caused rent for some properties jump from $800 to $3,000 a month, according to the WPSU report, leaving some residents homeless.  In an attempt to remedy the problem, the state will dole out $2.5 million in Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) Fund and Marcellus Shale impact fees.  Eligible applicants for the RFP include Pennsylvania counties that have adopted ordinances authorizing the imposition of an impact fee and that have producing, unconventional gas wells.  “The end result will be improved housing options suited to the needs of the people who live in those regions affected by the increase in natural gas drilling,” said Brian A. Hudson Sr., the PHFA executive director and CEO.

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