PRINTER'S NO.  161

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

HOUSE BILL

 

No.

60

Session of

2009

  

  

INTRODUCED BY DALEY, HESS, THOMAS, LONGIETTI, SIPTROTH, ADOLPH, BEAR, BELFANTI, BEYER, BISHOP, BRENNAN, BUXTON, CALTAGIRONE, CARROLL, CONKLIN, P. COSTA, DEASY, DePASQUALE, DERMODY, DONATUCCI, FABRIZIO, FRANKEL, FREEMAN, GEIST, GEORGE, GIBBONS, GOODMAN, GRUCELA, HALUSKA, HARKINS, HELM, HENNESSEY, HORNAMAN, JOSEPHS, KIRKLAND, KORTZ, KULA, LENTZ, MANDERINO, MANN, MARSHALL, McCALL, MELIO, MICOZZIE, MILLER, M. O'BRIEN, PASHINSKI, PAYNE, PAYTON, PRESTON, READSHAW, REICHLEY, ROSS, SANTONI, SCAVELLO, SOLOBAY, STABACK, WALKO, WHITE, YUDICHAK, MUNDY, PHILLIPS, DeLUCA AND KILLION, JANUARY 30, 2009

  

  

REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, JANUARY 30, 2009  

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

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Amending the act of December 3, 1959 (P.L.1688, No.621),

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entitled, as amended, "An act to promote the health, safety

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and welfare of the people of the Commonwealth by broadening

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the market for housing for persons and families of low and

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moderate income and alleviating shortages thereof, and by

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assisting in the provision of housing for elderly persons

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through the creation of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance

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Agency as a public corporation and government

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instrumentality; providing for the organization, membership

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and administration of the agency, prescribing its general

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powers and duties and the manner in which its funds are kept

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and audited, empowering the agency to make housing loans to

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qualified mortgagors upon the security of insured and

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uninsured mortgages, defining qualified mortgagors and

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providing for priorities among tenants in certain instances,

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prescribing interest rates and other terms of housing loans,

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permitting the agency to acquire real or personal property,

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permitting the agency to make agreements with financial

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institutions and Federal agencies, providing for the purchase

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by persons of low and moderate income of housing units, and

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approving the sale of housing units, permitting the agency to

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sell housing loans, providing for the promulgation of

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regulations and forms by the agency, prescribing penalties

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for furnishing false information, empowering the agency to

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borrow money upon its own credit by the issuance and sale of

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bonds and notes and by giving security therefor, permitting

 


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the refunding, redemption and purchase of such obligations by

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the agency, prescribing remedies of holders of such bonds and

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notes, exempting bonds and notes of the agency, the income

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therefrom, and the income and revenues of the agency from

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taxation, except transfer, death and gift taxes; making such

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bonds and notes legal investments for certain purposes; and

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indicating how the act shall become effective," providing for

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the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation

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Enhancement Program.

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The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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hereby enacts as follows:

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Section 1.  The act of December 3, 1959 (P.L.1688, No.621),

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known as the Housing Finance Agency Law, is amended by adding an

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article to read:

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ARTICLE IV-D

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PENNSYLVANIA HOUSING AFFORDABILITY AND REHABILITATION

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ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM

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Section 401-D.  Definitions.

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The following words and phrases when used in this article

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shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

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context clearly indicates otherwise:

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"Account."  The Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation

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Enhancement Account established in section 406-D.

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"Persons with disabilities."  Individuals with physical,

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sensory or mental impairment that substantially limits one or

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more major life activities.

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"Program."  The Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and

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Rehabilitation Enhancement Program established in section 402-D.

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Section 402-D.  Establishment.

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There is established the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability

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and Rehabilitation Enhancement Program to be administered by the

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agency. The program is dependent upon funds available in the

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account.

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Section 403-D.  Program.

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(a)  Project types.--The program may provide funding for the

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following:

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(1)  Projects to provide safe and sanitary dwellings for

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sale or rent to low-income and moderate-income individuals or

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families.

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(2)  Projects to increase the availability or quality of

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housing for elderly persons.

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(3)  Projects to increase the availability or quality of

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accessible housing for persons with disabilities.

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(4)  Projects to prevent or reduce homelessness.

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(5)  Projects to encourage the development and

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rehabilitation of distressed neighborhoods.

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(6)  Projects to provide mortgage or rental assistance,

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including housing counseling, foreclosure prevention and

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refinancing products.

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(7)  Projects to provide loans, low-interest loans or

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grants to low-income and moderate-income individuals or

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families who are owner-occupants for repairs and improvement

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to sustain or increase the conditions of the home.

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(b)  Purposes.--Money for projects under subsection (a) may

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be used for the following:

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(1)  Predevelopment activities, including title searches,

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market studies, project planning, architectural services,

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legal and engineering studies and related fees.

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(2)  Acquisition and disposition of real or personal

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property.

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(3)  Site preparation, including demolition of existing

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structures and remediation of environmental conditions.

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(4)  Construction, reconstruction, alteration and repair

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of existing structures, improvements and infrastructure.

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(c)  Matching funds.--Funds appropriated to the program may

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be used for a set-aside for matching funds for counties that

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have established optional county affordable housing funds under

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53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 60 (relating to optional affordable housing

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funding). In order to receive matching funds under this

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subsection, a county must annually report detailed information

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as required by the agency on the use of the funds for county

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projects. The information shall be included in the agency's

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report under section 405-D.

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(d)  Limitation.--Funds appropriated to the program shall not

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supplant existing resources dedicated to affordable housing

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activities. Funds appropriated to the program may be used to

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support, expand and enhance other programs administered by the

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agency.

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(e)  Preferences.--The agency may adopt written policies to

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give preference to projects that meet specific goals, such as

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energy efficiency, green building standards and comprehensive

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design strategies, or that target identified needs.

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(f)  Considerations.--The agency shall take into

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consideration geographical distribution of funds appropriated to

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the program to ensure that all areas of this Commonwealth

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participate to the greatest extent possible.

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(g)  Funding for housing program.--The agency shall make

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available 30% of the funds appropriated under this article for

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housing programs benefiting households with household incomes

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which are less than 50% of the median area income.

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Section 404-D.  Plan.

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(a)  General rule.--Within 90 days of the effective date of

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this section and by March 15 of each year thereafter, the agency

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shall adopt a plan which establishes the agency's priorities for

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that year and sets forth the method in which the funds will be

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distributed that year.

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(b)  Publication.--The proposed plan, including a comment

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response document, shall be submitted to the chair and minority

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chair of the Urban Affairs and Housing Committee in the Senate

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and the chair and minority chair of the Commerce Committee in

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the House of Representatives, published in the Pennsylvania

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Bulletin and published on the agency's Internet website for

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public comment no later than 45 days prior to its adoption under

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subsection (a). All comments submitted to the agency in writing

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shall be public records and shall be incorporated into the

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comment response document.

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Section 405-D.  Reporting.

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Within 90 days following the close of the first calendar year

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after the effective date of this article and by July 1 of every

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year thereafter, the agency shall issue a report containing a

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financial statement, an itemized list of projects funded and a

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description of other expenditures in the preceding calendar

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year. The report shall be submitted to the Governor, the Auditor

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General and the chair and minority chair of the Urban Affairs

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and Housing Committee in the Senate and the chair and minority

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chair of the Commerce Committee in the House of Representatives

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and published on the agency's Internet website. The report shall

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be a public record.

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Section 406-D.  Account.

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There is established in the State Treasury a restricted

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receipt account known as the Housing Affordability and

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Rehabilitation Enhancement Account. Interest and any other

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earnings in the account shall remain in the account. All

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appropriations and other funds allocated to the program shall be

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deposited in the account and shall be appropriated to the agency

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on a continuing basis

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Section 407-D.  (Reserved).

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Section 2.  This act shall take effect in 90 days.

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