Pennsylvania Democrats pen bills to increase housing opportunities

Western PA News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Senate Democrats plan to introduce a series of bills aimed at increasing housing opportunities in Pennsylvania.

The New Deal for Housing is a five-year program, calling for a billion dollars in new money to help expand access to affordable housing.​

The initiative would create the Survival Accessible Fair and Empowering (SAFE) housing trust fund to help domestic abuse survivors find an affordable home.​

“It is a crime that someone, when they finally have got the courage and the willingness to leave a violent situation, that they have no place to go,” state Sen. Vincent Hughes said. “We intend to rectify that.”​

The legislation also would open Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funding to housing for domestic violence survivors, veterans, and affordable housing projects.​

The initiative would focus on addressing toxic housing through a lead remediation superfund, create Step Up PA to expand home ownership for low-income communities, increase funding for the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund, create a community reinvestment act to address housing discrimination, and establish a low-income housing tax credit.​

“It’s comprehensive. It makes available funds to touch every aspect of the housing crisis, which affects big cities like Philadelphia and small communities all across Pennsylvania,” Hughes said. “It is time to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to realize the American dream of owning their own home.”​

A Senate Republicans spokesperson said they plan to examine the issues surrounding the programs, including the benefits and where the money will come from, during the committee process.​

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