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NATIONAL FAIR HOUSING MONTH

National Fair Housing Month celebrates the passage of the Fair Housing Act, a national law that prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, and gender. The Act was passed in in 1968 and amended in 1988 to include protections for people with disabilities and families with children.

Housing is a Fundamental Right

The Pennsylvania Senate Democrats will continue to fight for:

Equitable housing rights for all Pennsylvanians

Access to safe and affordable housing for all, including low-income earners and veterans

Transparency in laws, processes, and opportunities for homeowners and renters

An end to loopholes that perpetuate discriminatory and negligent practices by landlords

Financial assistance to help homeowners manage property costs and taxes related to rapid changes to neighborhoods and the effects of climate change

Pennsylvania Housing Grants and Assistance

Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund (PAHAF)

Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund (PAHAF)

$350 million dollars is available to help Pennsylvania homeowners with mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, displacement, and utility disconnection due to hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible PA homeowners can receive a maximum of:

  • $30,000 of PAHAF assistance to help with mortgage payments
  • $5,000 for delinquent property taxes
  • $3,000 for insurance premiums
  • $5,000 for delinquent homeowner/condominium fees
  • $3,000 or up to 24 months of assistance for delinquent utility bills

Funds will be distributed directly to mortgage lenders, servicers, utility providers and other authorized third parties.

Learn more and apply on the PAHAF website.

Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit

Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program helps create affordable housing in the United States. Created by the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the LIHTC program gives State and local LIHTC-allocating agencies the equivalent of approximately $8 billion in annual budget authority to issue tax credits for the acquisition, rehabilitation, or new construction of rental housing targeted to lower-income households. In Pennsylvania, the federal tax credits are administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and approved by its board.

In October 2021, Governor Wolf announced awards totaling more than $43.6 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits, 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 in Pennsylvania.

Learn more online.

 

Home Investment Partnership Program

Pennsylvania HOME Program

The Pennsylvania HOME Program is a federally funded program that provides municipalities with grant and loan assistance to expand and preserve the supply of decent and affordable housing for low- and very low-income Pennsylvanians. HOME funds can be used in a variety of ways to address critical housing needs in the Commonwealth, including market-oriented approaches that offer opportunities such as homeownership or rental activities to revitalize communities with new investment.

Learn more and apply online.

Filing a Complaint Against Discrimination

PHRC - ​File A Complaint

Any person who believes that he or she has been discriminated against or any representative of such a person may file a confidential complaint with the local government, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and/or HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity in Washington DC. More information is available from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Our Priorites

2021-2022 Legislation

Senate Bill 460 – Establishing a Pennsylvania Community Reinvestment Act

Sponsored by Senator Vincent Hughes

This legislation would would require banks demonstrate that race plays no factor in their lending decisions. These disclosures would be public information and provide an additional factor in determining a bank’s compliance

Senate Bill 677 - Veterans' Homelessness

Sponsored by Senator Katie Muth

This legislation would bring the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) together to provide assistance to veterans who are experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of experiencing homelessness. Under this legislation, eligible applicants would receive a maximum of $1,000 per month in the form of a rental voucher for a period of 12 months.

Senate Bill 912 – Fair Chance Housing

Sponsored by Senator Nikil Saval

Fair Chance Housing legislation would prohibit landlords from conducting criminal background checks when screening prospective tenants and eliminate a crucial barrier preventing the successful return of incarcerated people who have served their sentences and deserve a full shot at a second chance.

Senate Bill 570 – Prohibiting discrimination based on an individual's sexual orientation, gender identity or expression

Sponsored by Senators Steve Santarsiero & Nikil Saval

This legislation would prohibit discrimination, including being denied housing, fired from a job, or excluded from public spaces based on an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

Senate Bill 781 – Longtime Owner Occupant Tax Exemption Program (LOOP)

Sponsored by Senator Jay Costa

This legislation would allow Pittsburgh the option of enacting a Longtime Owner Occupant Program (LOOP) to help homeowners better manage property taxes in neighborhoods experiencing rapid change due to economic growth.

Senate Bill 1010 – "Survivor-centered, accessible, fair and empowering” (SAFE) Housing Trust Fund

Sponsored by Senator Vincent Hughes

This legislation would establish the SAFE housing trust fund that would benefit victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, human trafficking and stalking.

Senate Resolution 159 – Resolution to Study the Impact of Housing and Health Quality

Sponsored by Senator Jay Costa

This resolution would authorize the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to conduct a study on the impact of housing on health quality. The LBFC study would examine health care costs associated with substandard housing and how much public and private funds can be saved by addressing the problem. It would also examine how housing and health connections and financing can be integrated to produce appropriate affordable housing that is linked to both the local health care and social service systems with the objective of improving life situations and reducing health and social service costs.

Senate Bill 627 – Property Tax Rebate for Baby Boomers

Sponsored by Senator Wayne Fontana

This legislation would implement a property tax rebate for the baby boomer generation. To qualify for a rebate, an individual must be a Pennsylvania resident who is 66 years and older, whose income is $66,000 and under, and who has lived in their home for 6 years or more.

Senate Bill 853 - Recent Veterans Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

Sponsored by Senator Katie Muth

This legislation would establish a veteran property tax and rent rebate program. This program would be modeled after the Pennsylvania property tax and rent rebate program for seniors. It would be offered to service members ending active status and entering civilian life or honorably discharged within the past three years.

Senate Bill 1135 – Whole Home Repairs Fund

Sponsored by Senator Nikil Saval

This legislation would create a Whole Home Repairs Fund administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development. The Fund would allow providers to assess and address homes holistically by creating a one-stop shop for home repairs.

Our Members at Work

Senator Nikil Saval Announces Fair Records for Renters Legislation

Senator Nikil Saval Announces Fair Records for Renters Legislation

Harrisburg, PA − November 29, 2021 − Senator Nikil Saval (D–Philadelphia) today announced Fair Records for Renters legislation, which would rectify false eviction records data and thus eliminate a major barrier that currently prevents tens of thousands of...

Fontana: Local Affordable Housing Projects Get $3.5 Million Boost

PITTSBURGH – October 27, 2021 – Efforts to provide affordable housing in the 42nd Senate District will get a $3.5 million boost, according to Sen. Wayne Fontana. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency Board approved tax credits for three local projects that will be...

$1.2 Million Slated for Affordable Senior Housing in Phoenixville

WEST CHESTER (October 14, 2021) – An important project to bring 50 affordable senior housing units to the Borough of Phoenixville is on track to receive nearly $1.2 million in tax credits through the Pennsylvania Housing and Finance Agency (PHFA). PHFA...

Senator Nikil Saval Announces Fair Records for Renters Legislation

Senator Nikil Saval Announces Fair Records for Renters Legislation

Harrisburg, PA − November 29, 2021 − Senator Nikil Saval (D–Philadelphia) today announced Fair Records for Renters legislation, which would rectify false eviction records data and thus eliminate a major barrier that currently prevents tens of thousands of...

Fontana: Local Affordable Housing Projects Get $3.5 Million Boost

PITTSBURGH – October 27, 2021 – Efforts to provide affordable housing in the 42nd Senate District will get a $3.5 million boost, according to Sen. Wayne Fontana. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency Board approved tax credits for three local projects that will be...

$1.2 Million Slated for Affordable Senior Housing in Phoenixville

WEST CHESTER (October 14, 2021) – An important project to bring 50 affordable senior housing units to the Borough of Phoenixville is on track to receive nearly $1.2 million in tax credits through the Pennsylvania Housing and Finance Agency (PHFA). PHFA...

Advocates & Resources

DCED
Department of Human Services
National Fair Housing Alliance
Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania
PHFA
Whole Home Repairs