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United Way of Lancaster County


Local housing initiatives receive $2.3 million in PHARE funding

In this Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, file photo, YWCA Lancaster CEO Stacie Blake, right, shows Mayor Danene Sorace and then-Pa. Labor & Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier a section of YWCA Lancaster’s headquarters that is being renovated into transitional housing. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)

A baker’s dozen of Lancaster County affordable housing initiatives, mostly spearheaded by nonprofits, will share $2.3 million in recently awarded state funding.

The Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement fund, or PHARE, administers a mix of state and federal housing funds.

Statewide, $61.5 million in 2023 PHARE funding is going to more than 300 projects. The allocations in Lancaster County are as follows:

  • BASE Inc.: $100,000 for BASE Inc.’s first-time homebuyer program.
  • Community Basics Inc.: $150,000 for Manor Youth House, which will provide supportive housing to youths aged 18-26 who are homeless or aging out of foster care.
  • Elizabethtown Community Housing & Outreach Services (ECHOS): $100,000 for ECHOS’ Homestead transitional housing program.
  • Good Neighbors: $100,000 for a program that provides repairs to low-income homeowners in southern Lancaster and Chester counties.
  • Lancaster City Housing Authority: $100,000 to replace the electrical system at the 169-unit Farnum Street East complex.
  • Lancaster-Lebanon Habitat for Humanity: $100,000 to build six new three- and four-bedroom homes at 913 Wheatland Ave. for first-time homebuyers.
  • Lancaster County Land Bank: $500,000 to build four new residential units in Columbia.
  • OZFund Inc.: $350,000 for the Rebman’s 52-unit apartment project at 800 S. Queen St.
  • Partners With Purpose: $100,000 to renovate 10 of the 95 scattered-site properties recently acquired from the Lancaster City Housing Authority, with which Partners With Purpose is affiliated.
  • SACA Development Corp.: $250,000 to acquire, renovate and resell five affordable housing properties.
  • Tenfold: $100,000 for housing and financial stability services
  • United Disabilities Services Foundation: $100,000 for the Accessible Housing Solutions Initiative. The funds will support accessibility renovations in 33 affordable units in six apartment buildings.
  • YWCA Lancaster: $250,000 for renovations expanding transitional housing at the nonprofit’s headquarters.

Last year, Lancaster city awarded federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to five of the above projects: YWCA Lancaster, Lancaster City Housing Authority, Lancaster-Lebanon Habitat for Humanity, Partners With Purpose and Community Basics. It also awarded ARPA funds to Tenfold and SACA, but for other projects.

Lancaster County supported one of the projects with its ARPA funds, awarding $1 million to YWCA Lancaster for its renovations.

Affordable housing is an acute need in the city and the county at large. Studies indicate Lancaster County has a current shortage of 7,000 to 12,500 housing units and that it needs to add around 18,500 in coming years to keep up with demand, while preserving existing stock.