Sen. Blake, Rep. Carroll Announce Funding for Local Affordable Housing Projects

SCRANTON, July 11, 2019 – State Sen. John Blake and state Rep. Mike Carroll today announced that three local affordable housing projects in Lackawanna and Luzerne County received over $1.2 million in funding through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) fund.

“The affordable housing investments announced today by the PA Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) are important for our region and will serve our citizens for years to come,” Blake said. “With a combination of PHARE funds and low-income housing tax credits, the critically important Dupont Housing for the Elderly project will now be able to move to completion.”

This project, which received $674,400 in PHARE grant funds, was also awarded a federal low-income housing tax credit allocation that will be worth up to $8.1 million. The $10 million Dupont Housing project will consist of 36 one-bedroom units for area seniors – 19 units will have Section 8 rental subsidies through the Luzerne County Housing Authority and four will be fully accessible units for persons with disabilities.

I am thrilled that the PHFA recognized the importance of the Dupont Housing project to Greater Pittston,” Carroll said. “Dupont Borough had the foresight to obtain a former school building for the sole purpose of developing housing for our elderly population and the award of PHARE funds and low-income housing tax credits allows this project to proceed.”  

Additionally, the Goodwill at North Gerard T. Langan Apartments received $500,000 in PHARE funds to close the funding gap for the over $20 million project. This facility includes 58 completely renovated senior apartments which are currently home to 63 individuals.

“The preservation of the former North Scranton High School – now on the National Register of Historic Places – has been instrumental in revitalizing North Scranton and restoring pride in an important historical asset in our community,” Blake added.

Finally, the St. Frances Cabrini Apartments in Scranton received $100,000 in PHARE funds to replace the roof and rear doorway of a sixteen-unit federally subsidized project that provides affordable housing to seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Across the Commonwealth, 39 affordable multifamily housing developments received $41.6 million in low-income housing tax credits and $7.7 million in PennHOMES funding. Additionally, 211 housing and community development initiatives in all 67 counties will share a portion of the $51.2 million in PHARE funding.

The PHARE fund is managed by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. Since 2012, the program has received a portion of the impact fees collected from natural gas companies operating in the state with the goal of addressing an affordable housing shortage caused by the economic impact of drilling. Those funds are supplemented by two new funding sources including a portion of realty transfer taxes and money from the National Housing Trust Fund.  PHARE funding was increased by $15 million with the most recent adoption of the 2019-2020 state budget.

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Sen. Blake, Rep. Carroll Break Ground on $11.3 Million Senior Housing Complex in Moscow

MOSCOW, June 9, 2017 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) and state Rep. Mike Carroll today joined a group of local officials and business leaders to break ground on the $11.3 million Academy II Senior Housing project in Moscow.

The Academy II Senior Housing complex will feature 48 units and will be adjacent to two market-rate developments, the renovated Academy Street School and Academy Gardens, to form a mixed-income, multi-generational campus in downtown Moscow.

“As our citizens advance in years they need to consider the transition from high maintenance and costly residential living to high-quality, affordable senior living alternatives in our communities,” Blake said. “This is an exciting project for the entire Moscow community that will offer our seniors the comfort and the peace of mind they deserve. I know that residents at Academy Street will enjoy these new apartments and the project we break ground on today will add significant value to the downtown community and business district.”

The Academy II Senior Housing complex received significant assistance through the Pennsylvania Finance Agency. Last summer, the project was awarded $1.07 million in annual tax credits for 10 years and a $970,000 loan through the PennHOMES Program. The PennHOMES loan has a zero percent interest rate, a 30-year term, and repayment is made from excess cash flow as determined annually by the Agency. Blake indicated that the Tax Credit Investor, CAHEC from Raleigh, NC, invested $10.3 million dollars for the tax credit. The project was also awarded a $50,000 loan through Lackawanna County’s ACT 137 funds.

“Moscow is a wonderful place to live and this project will allow many North Pocono residents to continue to remain in the community they proudly call home,” Carroll noted. “Future residents of this project will be the beneficiary of living in close proximity to a vibrant Main Street, in a safe neighborhood and in a borough with outstanding community leaders.

The development will consist of 44 one-bedroom and 4 two-bedroom units; including 6 fully accessible units, all of which are equipped for the audio-visually impaired. Three of the accessible units will have rents affordable to households at or below 20% Area Median Income (AMI), 22 units will be affordable to households at 50% AMI and 23 units will be affordable to households at 60% AMI.

The complex will also feature a 1,091 sq. ft. Community Room with a kitchenette, outdoor patio, management/supportive services offices, fitness center and game room. Academy II will be connected by a nature trail to one of the borough’s prized outdoor attractions, Golden Park.

Through United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern PA, the supportive services program will include a wide variety of planned activities which will support and stabilize older adults as they transition through the next stages of their lives.

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