Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a bill increasing state support for a program to promote housing affordability and rehabilitation efforts.

The legislation dedicates a portion of funds raised from the state's realty transfer tax for use by the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund for projects across the state. The law does not increase the tax, but only changes how the revenues under the existing rate are used.

“I am pleased that the General Assembly approved this bill and that the governor signed it into law," said state Sen. Elder Vogel, prime sponsor of the Senate version of the bill. "PHARE has a proven record of helping alleviate blight, reduce homelessness, create jobs and drive economic activity. Through this new law we have a greater opportunity to help vulnerable residents, families and communities."

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, there is a statewide shortage of 272,045 rental home units for extremely low-income households. The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that 270,000 Pennsylvanians are homeless, including those living doubled up with friends or family in communities across the commonwealth, Vogel said.

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