Tuesday, October 13, 2015

PA Releases More Funds for Housing Projects

Both site builders and commercial modular factories should be encouraged by the latest news of additional funding for communities living in the footprint of the Marcellus Shale which have faced housing challenges as a result. PHARE funding is expected to help ease that burden.

The Marcellus Shale runs under 60 percent of Pennsylvania. But the areas where drilling takes place feel the economic effects more than most. This month, those counties received $8.1 million in state funding to support 44 local projects that address housing availability, community development and rental assistance.

The sudden arrival of gas companies and employees has stressed the housing market in the Shale region. Out-of-state workers are looking for both temporary and permanent housing, often in rural counties. Gas workers tend to earn more than the median income in the areas where they work.

This led to a spike in the cost of rental housing.  Landlords have evicted tenants, raised rents and terminated leases to open their doors to the higher paying gas workers.

The Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and RehabilitationEnhancement (PHARE) fund takes fees from each of the gas wells in the Marcellus Shale region and allocates it to affordable housing in the most affected counties. Over the past four years, $35 million of PHARE funds have gone into 150 projects.

Some of these are complex, multi-year projects that hope to have long-term effects after the gas boom. In Lycoming County, the funding has helped redevelop an old brownfield site in Williamsport, PA.

The modular housing industry should be leading the charge in providing additional housing especially since these projects are located right in the heart of the East Coast modular home industry.

1 comment:

George said...

the Central PA hot bed of modular factories should / need to be all over this. This is in their backyard.
I sure hope 2 or 3 factories take advantage of this great opportunity. I know some of the stick builders in Central PA have opened up satellite offices in the Northern Tier of PA and even advertise on the radio looking for workers / sub-contractors due to the high demand for building houses.