HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a bill that would “address habitability concerns in owner-occupied and rental units, measures to improve energy or water efficiency and make units accessible for individuals with disabilities, and removing barriers to affordability of homeownership.”

Senate Bill 1135, proposed by Nikil Saval (D-Philadelphia), would provide grants and loans not to exceed $50,000 per unit.

Grants would be for homeowners whose household income does not exceed 80% of the area median income. Loans would be available for small landlords renting affordable units that meet certain requirements.

Money may also be used for the county applicant’s administration of the program, including technical assistance for homeowners, renters, and landlords; program analysis, and legal aid referral.

Saval’s bill would also create investments by the county applicant for project types including workforce development programs that will connect trainees to jobs through committed employer partnerships related to improving the habitability and performance of homes.

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Money for home affordability projects includes grants into to exceed $12,000 per housing unit for new construction of multifamily housing units, new construction of housing units on nonadjacent sites, rehabilitating housing units, and acquisition of structures and vacant land.

The bill would also establish the Whole-Home Repairs and Homeownership Affordability Program, the Student Housing Repurpose Program, the Whole-Home Repairs and Homeownership Affordability Fund and the Housing Stabilization Initiative Fund; and imposing duties on the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

Student housing located in host communities for schools within the State System of Higher Education would be eligible for repurposing under the Student Housing Repurpose Program for new construction, rehabilitation, and acquisition of land and structures.

The bill has passed the Senate Appropriations and Urban Affairs and Housing committees.

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