Governor Wolf Announces 2019 PHARE Funding to Support Affordable Housing Across Pennsylvania

first_imgGovernor Wolf Announces 2019 PHARE Funding to Support Affordable Housing Across Pennsylvania SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced recipients of a new round of funding for housing programs made available through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) fund. The governor named 211 housing and community development initiatives in 67 counties that will share a portion of the total $51.2 million in PHARE funding for fiscal year 2018-19. The PHARE fund is managed by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.“A major advantage of the PHARE program is that the decisions on how the funding should be spent are driven locally,” said Governor Wolf. “Local municipalities determine how the funding can best preserve and expand the availability of affordable housing, and then they apply to PHARE to meet those needs. It’s a system that works.”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.Today’s PHARE funding is expected to impact more than 2,500 Pennsylvania households through a variety of efforts funding:• Rental/utility assistance,• Down payment/closing cost assistance for first-time homebuyers,• Blight remediation initiatives,• Rental housing preservation and rehabilitation, and• Other innovative projects and programs.“If you look at how the PHARE funding is spent, the uses are varied across rental housing and homeownership,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. “Communities know best what their local housing needs are, and we rely entirely on their requests when determining how best to allocate this funding.”PHFA staff reports that at least $36.6 million of the $51.2 million allocated today will be used to fund housing projects benefiting households with incomes below 50 percent of the area median income. That represents 71 percent of the awarded funding.A list of the proposals receiving PHARE funding, often referred to as the state’s Housing Trust Fund, is available at www.phfa.org/legislation/act105.aspx. See the fifth bullet for “Funding Announcements.”About PHFAThe Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency works to provide affordable homeownership and rental housing options for older adults, low- and moderate-income families, and people with special housing needs. Through its carefully managed mortgage programs and investments in multifamily housing developments, PHFA also promotes economic development across the state. Since its creation by the legislature in 1972, it has generated more than $14.3 billion of funding for more than 176,600 single-family home mortgage loans, helped fund the construction of 134,507 rental units, and saved the homes of nearly 49,900 families from foreclosure. PHFA programs and operations are funded primarily by the sale of securities and from fees paid by program users, not by public tax dollars. The agency is governed by a 14-member board.center_img July 11, 2019last_img read more

The Latest: No positive COVID-19 tests in NHL last week

first_img Associated Press The Latest: No positive COVID-19 tests in NHL last week Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The National Hockey League reported zero players tested positive for the coronavirus last week. July 27, 2020center_img NASCAR has run race weekends without fans with limited exceptions, notably at tracks in Tennessee and Texas.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The league says it administered a total of 4,256 tests to more than 800 players from July 18-25. Two players tested positive during the first week of training camps July 13-17.Players and staff from the 24 teams participating in the expanded Stanley Cup playoffs traveled to the hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, on Sunday. They’re now in a quarantined bubble and will be tested daily after every other day testing during camp.___The NASCAR weekend in late August at Dover International Speedway will take place without fans.Delaware state officials denied the track’s request to host a limited number of fans Aug. 21-23 in the interest of public health and safety. The track is to host a NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Cup Series on Saturday and Sunday of that weekend.last_img read more

LIPACE Assesses Liberia Reads! 2018 Program

first_imgLIPACE volunteers and Mrs. Gray posed after the training Liberia for the Promotion of Academic Excellence (LIPACE), a local organization that works in the education sector, has conducted an assessment for academic year 2017-2018 under the theme, “Liberia Reads! (LR) Educational Program,” and is poised to present its findings.LIPACE, which is a statistics-driven institution that analyses and interprets data, recently sent out scores of assessors to various schools under the LR program, to see how students are coping with their lessons.The program is to create a strong foundation of literacy and integrates skill learning, especially reading and pronunciation.Being an initiative of Liberia Reads! an NGO founded by ex-Peace Corps Volunteer Geraldine Melosh, who served for many years in the 1970s, and her husband Bob Melosh. Their effort is aimed at increasing awareness of the central role that reading plays in the lifelong process of education.As it is often said, reading brightens one’s mind and sharpens the intellect, so this is exactly what is playing out for several kids in 24 schools in three of the 15 counties under the LR program. The initiative helps train teachers, principals, and reading coaches in reading instruction.Liberia Reads! country director Lyn Gray, who spoke to the training volunteers for the end-line assessment for 2017-2018 in Paynesville, said the culture of reading needs to be enhanced in Liberia if the education sector is to become vibrant. The day-long training was intended to ensure that the assessors had a better understanding of the data. The seminar was conducted by Mrs. Gray.“It is no secret that reading is the cornerstone of education, and one cannot do it without knowing the basic fundamental ingredients,” she noted.The founder, Geraldine Melosh, holds a doctorate in education and is a successful educator who, though based in the US, frequently visits home every July.“After many years of success in the USA, she thought to give back to a country that helped develop and shape her professional career as a Peace Corps volunteer,” she said.She noted that prior to the crisis in Liberia, reading and education were not much problem in the country as the sector was striving towards excellence. “But now it is a huge problem and we are seeing how this is being reflected in our students’ performance in public tests in the country,” she said.Some noted that much of the problem in the sector, from the academic side of things, is as a result of Phonics Education in the country.“It was against this backdrop that Liberia Reads! was established to help solve this problem. In this vein, teacher manual and reading books for students were prepared and have since been in use,” she said.The program focuses on childhood early learning, which includes K-2, Grade I, II and III. The teachers of these classes and the principals of the participating schools are part of the program.Madam Gray and and LIPACE Administrative Officer, Steve WiefuehLR works with 24 schools in three of the 15 counties. These include Montserrado, Margibi and Bong counties. Lyn was also a Peace Corps here in the 1970s, assigned at the Sanniquellie Central High School in Nimba County.“The best way to know that we are succeeding is how the kids are reading,” Mrs. Gray said. To do that, LR contracted LIPACE, an independent external evaluator, to do baseline and end-line assessment every year.The issue of class size is paramount under the program, and according to Mrs. Gray, all the schools are required to have at most 30 students per class. Under the initiative, teachers conduct two hours of reading classes every school day.LIPACE Administrative Officer, Steve Wiefueh, said LIPACE volunteers assessed performance of students from eight of the schools under the program.“These assessors bring back the results as to how the pupils are doing—whether they are correctly reading more words per minute or not,” Wiefueh said.LIPACE was founded by Benjamin M. Freeman, Jr., who also served as executive director with a good track record of not just data collection, but proffering solutions for academic oriented problems.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more