– Rep. Joe Hogan (R-Bucks) last week introduced legislation that would create a new loan program under the Department of Community and Economic Development to help counties rehabilitate blighted properties, increase housing stock and generate additional revenue.
“This is modeled off of a highly successful blight abatement program in Bucks County,” Hogan said. “Following an initial capitalization in 2016, the Redevelopment Authority has successfully rehabilitated 35 residential properties without additional funding. These efforts have also resulted in over 100 additional properties to be rehabilitated by the private sector, without government intervention.”
House Bill 1347
would allow for long-term loans to be available to the authorities at a low interest rate in order to acquire blighted residential or commercial properties, and to redevelop or rehabilitate them. Proceeds from the sale of these properties would then be used to pay back the Commonwealth and fund additional projects. This new loan program will be offered as a pilot program, available through the full utilization of the funds or 2026, whichever occurs first. The program stipulates that one county of each classification, if eligible and that has applied, would be awarded a loan up to $500,000.
“This new loan program would help communities across Pennsylvania redevelop blighted properties and improve the quality of life for all of their residents,” said Hogan, “House Bill 1347 gives communities another tool to redevelop and grow new areas of business opportunity and quality housing across the Commonwealth, while redeveloping properties that have been consumed by blight. It worked in Bucks County, and I am certain it will produce similar results across Pennsylvania.”
House Bill 1347 now goes to the House Committee on Housing and Community Development for consideration.