Morgan Cephas

State. Rep. Morgan Cephas announced on Monday $700,000 in state funding has been awarded to two community projects that will impact the residents of the 192nd Legislative District.

“I’m thrilled that this much-needed funding will come to projects helping low-income residents in West Philadelphia,” said Cephas, D-Phila., who supported the projects seeking the funds. “My hope is that the funding will allow these projects to alleviate some of the need for affordable housing and allow low-income residents the opportunity to stay in their communities.”

The Overbrook West Neighbors Community Development Corp. was awarded $200,000, and the Mission First Housing Group was awarded $500,000 from the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement fund, or PHARE fund.

The Overbrook West Neighbors Community Development Corp. will use the funding for its West Philadelphia Handyman Program, which is open to older adults and seniors who meet financial eligibility requirements. Through the program, residents can make necessary improvements to their homes to ensure they can age in place and in dignity.

The Mission First Housing Group will use the funds for Phase 2 of its plan to develop the Apartments at New Market West, a development currently under construction near the Haddington/Cobbs Creek neighborhood. The project will create 41 new affordable apartments, including units that will receive referrals from the Office of Homeless Services.

On Thursday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced 211 housing and community development initiatives in 67 counties will share a portion of $51.2 million in PHARE funding for fiscal year 2018-19.

The PHARE fund is managed by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.

Funding for the PHARE program comes from three main sources. Since 2012, the program has received a portion of the impact fees collected from natural gas companies operating in the state with the goal of addressing the housing shortage caused by the impact of drilling. That is supplemented with two major new funding sources that include a portion of the realty transfer tax and money from the National Housing Trust Fund.

Contact Johann Calhoun at newseditor@phillytrib.com or call at (215) 893-5739

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