The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) continues to be a major source of financing for the acquisition, rehabilitation, construction, or preservation of affordable rental housing. The combination or “layering” of our Rental Housing Programs provides debt and equity in proportions that result in a financially viable development structured with “real” affordable rents. To participate in these programs an applicant may be an individual, corporation, limited partnership, limited liability corporation, nonprofit entity, or for profit entity. 

PHFA’s loan programs offer conventional and/or soft debt based upon the needs of the development. The bond loan programs provide “conventional debt” requiring monthly payments of principal and interest. The PennHOMES loan program is “soft debt” requiring the principal only to be repaid annually from excess cash flow. Developments utilizing a PHFA loan must meet certain architectural and design standards. These design standards are found in the Architect Submission Guide. PHFA encourages developers to integrate social services into the ongoing operation of the proposed development. Developers should work with a qualified service provider to develop a plan of services that is appropriate for the selected resident population. Information regarding the provision of supportive services is found on the Housing Services link.

In the early years of financing affordable rental housing, rental assistance was used to support debt in amounts sufficient to build the development. With the transition from rental assistance to lower rents paid only by the tenants, equity is used to fill the financing gap that cannot be filled with debt. The equity is generated using the proceeds from the syndication of Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). PHFA has been chosen by the Governor to administer the LIHTC program in Pennsylvania on behalf of the federal government.

A detailed description of the loan and the Tax Credit programs and the application used to apply for them is found in the Multifamily Housing Application Package and Guidelines (Application).

In connection with PHFA’s administration of federal funding programs for the construction and rehabilitation of developments, PHFA must ensure that certain federal construction related requirements are met. The PHFA multifamily Construction Compliance Forms are now available online and may be used by owners and general contractors. PHFA’s Compliance Officer will monitor predevelopment and construction activities for compliance with any and all applicable federal reporting requirements.

From 1975-1983, the Agency provided financing to a number of developments funded under a federally authorized state agency Section 8 Set Aside Program. These properties were financed with mortgages funded through Agency revenue bonds. The Agency regularly administers the Section 8 contracts and monitors program compliance and the physical condition of the properties. The Agency has established in order to ensure that these properties continue to be affordable while allowing the owners to prepay their outstanding Agency mortgage. For more information, contact Carl Dudeck, Jr., at 717.780.3896 with any questions regarding these guidelines.

A sample of completed developments, including photos and a development synopsis, is provided to showcase the housing being built using the PHFA programs.

Agency Commitment Process