PHILADELPHIA-Three Pennsylvania state agencies are divvying up $22 million from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to launch a statewide effort to assist low-income families with housing needs. Specifically, the package, called the Governor’s Housing Collaborative Initiative, is designed to help families that are moving from welfare to work find homes and apartments.

Of the $22 million, $16 million applies to multifamily housing, and $6 million will be used by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency to provide no-interest home mortgage loans for low-income buyers.

The Department of Community and Economic Development is making $10 million available for housing rehabilitation and repairs, including the removal or mitigation of lead-based paint in apartments operated by small-scale landlords.

The remaining $6 million is being allocated in three equal segments.

Businesses and nonprofit organizations can apply for up to $2 million to cover pre-development costs of cooperative housing complexes.

Management organizations can apply for up to $2 million to preserve apartments that are affordable to lower-income renters and in need of repairs or financial support.

Sponsors or management agents of PHFA-financed developments can apply for up to $2 million for expansion of the Family Resource Center program, a social service support measure for lower-income renters in Philadelphia.

All recipients of the financing must serve lower-income families with children that either have annual incomes of no more than 35% of federal poverty levels, which now stands at $42,535 for a family of four, or less than 80% of the median income in the area in which they live.

The Department of Public Welfare joins PHFA and DCED in the initiative, which will be administered by PHFA and DCED.

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