Lower project cost/mortgage obligation allows more attainable rental rates.

Relevant News/ Resources

Helpful Resources

Many resources exist for attainable housing initiatives and information.

STRONG TOWNS

Strong Towns advocates for a radically new way of thinking about the way we build our world, promoting resilience, adapting to changes, and building towns that work and meet the needs of our neighbors. LEARN MORE

HOUSING ALLIANCE OF PA

The Housing Alliance is a statewide coalition working to provide leadership and a common voice for policies, practices, and resources to ensure that all Pennsylvanians, especially those with low incomes, have access to safe, decent and affordable homes. LEARN MORE

NATIONAL LOW INCOME HOUSING COALITION

The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated to achieving racially and socially equitable public policy that ensures people with the lowest incomes have quality homes that are accessible and affordable in communities of their choice. LEARN MORE

USA GOVERNMENT SITES

Government programs help low-income people find affordable rental housing. Each of the programs – subsidized housing, public housing, and housing choice vouchers – is different. Get the details on how they work, who is eligible, and how to apply. LEARN MORE

Search for HUD field and regional offices, local PHAs, Multifamily and Public Housing locations, homeless coordinated entry system points of contacts, and USDA rural housing. LEARN MORE

The A+ Homes initiative

A joint effort of the Planning Commission, Department of Community Development, and Housing Choices Committee.

What are A+ Homes?

Attractive: Designed, constructed, and maintained to be compatible with local community character.

Affordably-priced: Available at attainable sale and rental prices; no more than 30 percent of household income should be spent on housing related costs.

Adaptable: Able to evolve with market forces, changing demographics, buyer and renter preferences, and environmental conditions.

Aging-friendly: Able to meet the diverse needs of seniors.

Accessible: Connected to jobs, services, transit, amenities, and important community facilities.

Throughout the development of Landscapes3 it was clear that our residents’ needs for the place they call home are changing. Adult children of county residents are finding it hard to afford to live in the county, and businesses are having trouble attracting and retaining workers due to the price of housing. Our senior population and the number of single person households are increasing, creating a specific need for adaptable and accessible homes, along with the desire for smaller homes that are affordable for people living alone or on a fixed income. Increasingly residents are prioritizing access to jobs and amenities, and choosing location over square footage or acreage.

Learn more here.

The U.S. is in the midst of a housing crisis. What can be done about it?

The homeownership rate for Hispanics is 48% and for Blacks it is 42%. Those levels have not been that low in decades.

Mark Zandi, For The Inquirer
Apr 23, 2021

The nation is struggling with an affordable-housing crisis. There is not enough housing in communities across the country, including here in Philadelphia. This means families must pay more for their housing, renters have less to get by on at the end of the month, homeownership is out of reach for too many, and those of modest means are forced to live farther from decent jobs.

Homebuilding collapsed during the housing crash more than a decade ago and has been slow to recover. Construction of high-end homes and apartments recovered first, and there is now an oversupply in some urban areas across the country.

Read full article here.

Missing Middle Housing

Missing Middle Housing is a range of house-scale buildings with multiple units—compatible in scale and form with detached single-family homes—located in a walkable neighborhood.

The Missing Middle Housing types provide diverse housing options, such as duplexes, fourplexes, cottage courts, and multiplexes. These house-scale buildings fit seamlessly into existing residential neighborhoods and support walkability, locally-serving retail, and public transportation options. They provide solutions along a spectrum of affordability to address the mismatch between the available U.S. housing stock and shifting demographics combined with the growing demand for walkability.

Learn more here.

 

Most development focused on high-end market, but safe attainable housing needed for workforce.

 

Parameters

Physical

  • Chester County only
  • New construction or re-development/rehab of existing properties
  • Projects in line with the Chester County Planning Commissions A+ Housing Program: Attractive, Adaptable, Affordably-priced, Aging-friendly, Accessible

Funding Recipients

  • Development companies or other organizations, for example Community Land Trusts, creating attainable housing projects
  • Applicants will have 501c3 designation
  • Fund shall not act as developer, administrator or lessor for any properties

Specific Populations – Guiding principle: attainable housing for everyone

  • Residents who qualify for Housing Choice Vouchers (income below 50% of Average Median Income).
  • The “Missing Middle” (those who do not qualify for assistance), including essential workers, young professionals, first time homeowners, seniors

Grant/Loan Amounts

  • Up to 20% of fund balance can be granted in any year; may be more if making loans
  • Fund could be utilized for grants and/or revolving loans:
    • For example, loans for property purchases/infrastructure work
    • Interest rate and repayment terms set by Board of Advisors based on the project
    • Loan option would differentiate this fund from most others available
    • Application process and scoring to be developed by a Board subcommittee comprised of subject matter experts

The Process

  • Applications for grants and loans solicited quarterly
  • Applications reviewed by a Grant Process Committee which recommends action to the Board of Advisors
  • Advisory Board approves grants and loans
  • Coming Soon: Application guidelines and forms on this website

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