PRINTER'S NO. 31
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
58
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY A. WILLIAMS, SANTARSIERO, FONTANA AND COSTA,
JANUARY 11, 2019
REFERRED TO URBAN AFFAIRS AND HOUSING, JANUARY 11, 2019
AN ACT
Establishing the Veterans' Homeownership Assistance Program; and
providing for financial assistance to a veteran or veteran's
spouse to purchase a home.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Veterans'
Homeownership Assistance Act.
Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Agency." The Pennsylvania Housing Financing Agency.
"Applicant." A veteran or a veteran's spouse.
"Department." The Department of Military and Veterans
Affairs of the Commonwealth.
"Financial assistance." Down payment or closing costs
assistance authorized under section 3.
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"Primary residence." A dwelling that is used as the primary
domicile of the owner.
"Veteran." A person who served on active duty in the United
States Armed Forces, including any of the following:
(1) A reservist or member of the National Guard who was
discharged or released from the service under honorable
conditions.
(2) A reservist or member of the National Guard who
completed an initial term of enlistment or qualifying period
of service.
(3) A reservist or member of the National Guard who was
disabled in the line of duty during training.
"Veteran's spouse." The unmarried surviving spouse of a
veteran who was killed in action while on active duty in the
United States Armed Forces.
Section 3. Veterans' Homeownership Assistance Program.
(a) Establishment.--There is established a Veterans'
Homeownership Assistance Program which shall be administered by
the agency in coordination with the department.
(b) Award.--The agency may award financial assistance to an
applicant who is a first-time homebuyer under this subsection.
Financial assistance must be in one of the following forms:
(1) Down payment assistance on the purchase of a primary
residence. Down payment assistance shall equal the lesser of
the following:
(i) Twenty percent of the sale price of the home.
(ii) Ten thousand dollars.
(2) Closing costs assistance on the purchase of a
primary residence, which shall equal 5% of the sale price of
the home and may not exceed the lesser of the following:
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(i) The total amount of closing costs due.
(ii) Ten thousand dollars.
(c) Types.--The agency may award financial assistance in any
of the following forms and manners based on a review of the
applicant's personal finances:
(1) A grant.
(2) A no-interest, forgivable loan. A loan awarded under
this paragraph shall be reduced by 20% per year over five
years beginning on the date of closing. A veteran who sells
the home prior to the expiration of five years or who ceases
to use the home as the veteran's primary residence prior to
the expiration of the five-year forgiveness period shall
repay any remaining principal amount of the loan to the
agency in a time and manner determined by the agency.
(3) A deferred loan repayable upon the sale of the
property. A loan awarded under this paragraph must be repaid
upon the sale of the home by the veteran. The amount of the
repayment shall equal 105% of the total amount of the loan
awarded and shall be payable to the agency in a time and
manner determined by the agency.
(d) Application.--A veteran may apply for financial
assistance by submitting an application in the form and manner
prescribed by the agency. The applicant shall state in the
application whether the applicant is seeking financial
assistance in the form of down payment assistance or closing
costs assistance.
(e) Review.--Prior to awarding financial assistance under
this act, the agency shall review the application under
subsection (d) to determine whether the applicant is eligible to
receive financial assistance. The following shall apply:
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(1) The agency may not impose a means test or make any
determination of need on an applicant.
(2) An applicant's financial circumstances may only be
used to assess the type of financial assistance to be awarded
to the applicant.
Section 4. Duties of department.
The department shall work in conjunction with the agency to
verify the status and eligibility of every individual submitting
an application for financial assistance under this act.
Section 5. Guidelines.
The agency, in consultation with the department, shall
promulgate regulations or develop guidelines providing for the
Veterans' Homeownership Assistance Program.
Section 6. Appropriation.
(a) Amount.--The amount of $2,500,000 is appropriated from
the General Fund to the agency for the period of July 1, 2019,
to June 30, 2020, to provide financial assistance to eligible
veterans and administer the agency's responsibilities under this
act.
(b) Administrative costs.--No more than $250,000 of the
funds appropriated under subsection (a) may be used for
administrative costs incurred by the agency and the department
to administer this act.
Section 7. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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