PHFA Marks 50th Anniversary

By Hope Walborn | Sept. 14, 2023 | 2 min. read

This year, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency celebrates its 50th year of helping Pennsylvanians find and keep affordable, stable housing.

“Our agency was started 50 years ago with eight employees and a singular focus on funding affordable rental housing. Today, PHFA has grown to 314 employees and proudly offers a broad range of programs intended to help renters, homebuyers and homeowners find and keep housing that best fits their needs,” stated PHFA Executive Director and CEO Robin Wiessmann in PHFA’s anniversary press release.

The agency was created in the 1970s and primarily focused on providing funding to increase affordable rental housing throughout Pennsylvania. In the following decades, PHFA developed and implemented home loan programs to help low- and moderate-income families and began servicing those loans in-house. They now service over 73,000 home loans, and their portfolio of loans has a current value of $5.4 billion.

For decades, PHFA has also managed the Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, which, to date, has had more than 50,740 foreclosure prevention loans with a combined value of $579 million.

The agency also created a network of private-sector housing counselors in the mid-1990s to help better inform homebuyers about their housing-related finances. These counseling services are located statewide and offered at no cost. There are now 66 agencies with counselors certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development who help guide the public in making well-informed housing decisions.

In 2012 when gas drilling associated with fracking began, PHFA began managing the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund, which ensures housing affordability in northern Pennsylvania. Since then, “PHARE has distributed more than $239.6 billion to preserve and expand affordable housing in all 67 counties, leveraging more than $1 billion from other funding sources,” according to the press release.

Since its start in 1973, PHFA has stayed innovative and responsive to community needs. They are a largely self-funded agency that is constantly adapting to respond to the shifting needs of the marketplace and consumers of all ages, and they continue to be “the housing agency with a heart.”

Looking for events?

Pennsylvania Realtors® can access monthly webinars and much more.

Upcoming Events



Did you like this post?

Click on a star to rate this post!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Related Articles

Not a Realtor®? Learn how to become a member.