This week the State Senate could pass a House bill to create a new housing trust fund for areas where affordable housing is in short supply due to the recession and/or Marcellus Shale boom. The Pennsylvania Housing Financing Authority brags:
No state dollars would be appropriated initially for the trust fund; rather, state officials hope to receive a shot of $35 million in federal aid to underwrite trust fund housing projects.
First off, do they not realize that national tax dollars also come from taxpayers (and Pennsylvania residents pay federal taxes)? Secondly, while the housing situation in economically depressed areas is concerning and the rental prices are skyrocketing in Marcellus Shale development areas, government intervention is unwarranted.
Interference in the national housing market sparked the mortgage bubble, which helped ignited the financial collapse and current recession.
If housing is in high demand in Northern Tier counties, builders will flock to the area—absent of government intervention—especially in a time when construction around the rest of the state is stagnant. The supply of affordable housing will increase and the high rents will subside. Why should taxpayers subsidize something that will naturally occur? Oh, right, lots of housing construction lobbyists.
Let’s hope the Senate is wise enough not to repeat recent mistakes.