HARRISBURG — By a unanimous vote, the House approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Thomas Killion (R-Delaware) that would increase the availability of affordable housing in the Commonwealth while also creating jobs and generating much-needed state revenue — without raising taxes.
The Housing Trust Fund was established in 2010 to address a housing shortage in the Marcellus Shale region of the Commonwealth. It uses impact fees on natural gas drilling to leverage private development, which is solving the housing issue in that region while also creating jobs and improving the local economy. Killion proposes to build on the success of that model by expanding it to all 67 counties.
“The Housing Trust Fund has been tremendously successful at creating housing and jobs and boosting the economy, but it is limited to the shale areas,” said Killion. “House Bill 792 would take this model statewide. There is a significant housing crisis in the southeast region of the state. People are experiencing long waiting lists for apartments and affordable homes. My bill would improve the housing situation without raising taxes.”
Killion’s legislation would use the existing real estate transfer tax to set a baseline for the program. Fifty percent of any new money coming in as the economy improves would go to the program — up to $25 million. Killion said the legislation will not increase realty taxes, nor will it take away from projects currently funded by the program.
“It has been shown that a $25 million investment in the Housing Trust Fund will result in a $300 million investment in the community. That means jobs, tax revenue, and more importantly, it represents affordable housing for people who desperately need it,” he added.
House Bill 792
now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Thomas Killion
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Donna Pinkham
RepKillion.com / Facebook.com/RepKillion