Feb. 23, 2024

Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) Executive Director and CFO Robin Wiessmann and Deputy Executive Director and Chief Counsel Leonidas Pandeladis testified today before the House Appropriations Committee.  House Republicans focused their questions on how the PHFA is improving their services after their high-profile failure with distributions from the Federal CARES Act for rent and mortgage relief programs.  Additionally, Republicans asked for details on the Governor’s plan to spend more money through the PHFA in the PA Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund, commonly referred to the “PHARE” program. 

Key Takeaways

House Republicans remain concerned with the failures of the PHFA to distribute Federal CARES Act money intended to provide rent and mortgage relief during the height of the global health pandemic.  
Before Governor Shapiro commits $20 million more for the PHARE program in FY 2024-25, PHFA performance issues must be addressed. 
     o To re-establish a level of trust in their ability, House Republicans recommended the PHFA submit to an annual financial and performance audit conducted by the Office of the Auditor General. 
     o House Republicans also suggested to the PHFA to post completed audits already performed by the agency on their public website for the public’s review.  

Notable Q&A

Rep. Lou Schmitt asks Director Wiessmann what changes PHFA is making to ensure programs at PHFA are working again.  

Rep. Kristen Marcell asked Director Wiessmann if the PHFA uses best practices from the private sector in their housing programs.  

Full Hearing

Watch the full hearing here.

Rep. Seth Grove, Republican Chairman of the PA House Appropriations Committee
196th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives