The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) has announced funding awards totaling more than $43.6 million in low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs), more than $7.4 million in PennHOMES funding, and more than $15.9 million in National Housing Trust Funds for the construction of 1,974 affordable multifamily rental units across the state.
“The pandemic has shown just how important affordable housing is for people’s health and quality of life,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “I’m pleased that we are able to help fund the construction of these new rental units to meet the demand for more affordable housing in the commonwealth.”
When completed, the developments receiving funding today will preserve and create rental homes, including 1,886 for low-income Pennsylvania residents, with 93 units for people at or below 30% of the area median income supported by the National Housing Trust Funds.
“Tax credits are the best tool we have for supporting the construction of affordable rental housing in Pennsylvania,” said PHFA executive director and CEO Robin Wiessmann. “Our mission at PHFA is to expand affordable housing options for the state’s residents, and these developments receiving tax credits today will help us do that.”
The 37 multifamily housing developments that are being awarded tax credits can be viewed on the PHFA website.
This year’s recipients include HDC MidAtlantic, which received funding for two developments—$1.25 million in LIHTCs for the Apartments at College Avenue in Lancaster and $1.2 million in LIHTCs for the development of 1528 West in Allentown.
The 64-unit Apartments at College Avenue will be phase one of a larger plan to redevelop the former UPMC/St. Joseph’s hospital site into a mixed-use project. HDC is partnering with Baltimore-based Washington Place Equities for the larger redevelopment of the hospital site.
“We are thrilled to have the PHFA’s support in building more affordable housing in the city of Lancaster,” said Dana Hanchin, president and CEO of HDC. “The Apartments at College Avenue is a transformational development that will add much-needed multifamily affordable housing to the city, which has not occurred in several decades. We are looking forward to continued collaboration with our many trusted partners to build this community at the west end of College Avenue.”
In addition to $850,000 in city HOME funds, the project has received significant contributions from two local foundations: The Steinman Foundation committed $1.5 million, and United Disabilities Services Foundation committed $750,000 toward costs for the first phase of this development. The total cost of phase one is approximately $15.4 million.
In Allentown, HDC and Alliance for Building Communities will add 49 affordable apartments for seniors 55 and older, with an established preference for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“We cannot do the work of creating affordable housing for residents without partners, and we are happy to be working closely with Alliance for Building Communities and the Eastern Pennsylvania Down Syndrome Center on 1528 West,” Hanchin said. “This is the first HDC community designed expressly to serve adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are thrilled to be filling this critical need in Allentown.”
This new affordable housing community will be located adjacent to the Community Music School in the 1500 block of Hamilton Street in Allentown. The property is owned by local entrepreneur Mark Smith and is close to public transportation, stores, restaurants, and more to promote independence.
1528 West also received more than $800,000 in National Housing Trust Funds, and $250,000 in HOME funds from the city of Allentown. The development is supported by several local community service organizations and stakeholders, including the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living and others. The total development cost is estimated to be $14 million.