Hapco Philadelphia has always pushed for governmental incentives to facilitate construction and maintenance of affordable rental housing.

With the help of Pennsylvania State Representative, local municipalities can now offer tax incentives to encourage construction of below-market-rate apartments.

State Rep. Solomon looks back on the progress the bill has made in the lives of low-to-moderate-income renters.


Statement from PA. State Rep. Jared Solomon

Reflecting on One Year of Affordable Housing Legislation

It has now been just over one year since Governor Tom Wolf signed into law my legislation allowing municipalities across Pennsylvania to grant tax incentives in exchange for construction of below-market-rate homes.

The bill gives local townships, boroughs, and cities a menu of options to pass tax abatements or exemptions for the creation or improvements of affordable housing, be they for homeownership or rentals.

Use of these abatements is entirely up to local policymakers and offers various exemption schedules to tailor the tax relief to the needs and budgetary constraints that they face.

This is a step in the right direction to ensuring every resident of Pennsylvania can have the housing they need to raise their families and comfortably live and work in every one of our 67 counties.

Data from prior years showed that for every 100 people who need affordable housing in Pennsylvania, only 42 people would get it. In extreme cases, in counties like York and Monroe, only 28 people out of 100 would get the affordable housing they need. In Lancaster, only 19 people.

This was unacceptable and I’m thrilled that our new law will begin to benefit residents across the Commonwealth by incentivizing developers to build affordable housing across the state, urban, suburban, and rural. All Pennsylvanians deserve a home they are proud of, and the new affordable housing law creates more access to that.

Specifically, the new law allows for up to 10-year tax abatements in certain areas with blighted properties if at least 30% of the housing built is affordable to households making 60% of the area median income.

Municipalities also can implement a two-year tax abatement for new housing or home improvements as long as 30% of the housing on site meets this definition of affordability. The law also gives authority to localities to forgive or refund the property tax liabilities to low-income families.

There’s no one silver bullet that’s going to fix all the supply chain and interest rate issues that the housing market is facing right now, but this new law will help. And we must do more to address the struggles of low-income Pennsylvanians in getting a housing voucher, the long wait lists associated with them, and ensuring fewer renters are cost burdened.

But one thing is for certain: our new affordable housing law is going to help a lot of folks in need and hopefully reshape the affordable housing landscape for years to come.