Neighborhood Assistance Program doubles in size with House Bill 645
October 30, 2018
A bill that will help to rebuild low-income communities through projects aimed at affordable housing, crime prevention and workforce development, has been signed by Governor Tom Wolf, said state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny.
Rep. Wheatley, the Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee who helped push for H.B. 645, said the legislation was necessary in order to keep making investments throughout local communities and to strengthen Pittsburgh’s economy and landscape.
“Enhancing the quality of life for residents in Allegheny County and surrounding areas has and always will be important to me,” Mr. Wheatley said. “This program ultimately helps in so many ways through education, to employment and development, and even helps curb crime.”
Senator Wayne D. Fontana (D-Pittsburgh) sponsored the Senate version (Senate Bill 512) of the legislation that would doubles the state’s tax credit program aimed at encouraging businesses to invest in community revitalization efforts.
“The Neighborhood Assistance Program (Nap) provides a significant bang for the buck,” Sen. Fontana said. “In fiscal 2015-16, the $17 million in tax credits generated nearly eight times that amount in economic investment.”
Under the NAP, businesses make community revitalization commitments in exchange for state tax credits. The $18 million annual tax credit cap hasn’t been increased since the program was established in 1971. Mr. Fontana said the program’s reach has been hampered because tax credit requests regularly are more than double what the program’s cap permits.
The Neighborhood Assistance Program, which serves as a resource for non-profits, businesses and distressed neighborhoods, seeks to improve the lives of people who live in distressed neighborhoods through the creation of partnerships between community-based organizations, businesses and corporate communities. The program was created in 1967.
The bill would increase the NAP cap from $18 million to $36 million.
“The bill helps Pittsburgh in particular and has served as a great asset to our area,” Rep. Wheatley added. “Our neighborhoods are more stabilized and healthy because of NAP.”
The tax credit program works by creating partnerships between the businesses, government and grassroots community development organizations that target investment in struggling communities throughout Pennsylvania. NAP funding stokes revitalization by leveraging resources and building technical capacity and infrastructure within communities. Fontana said that many of the industrial towns throughout the region can benefit from the program.
More than 190 applications were received in the 2017-18 fiscal year, totaling over $32 million for NAP tax credits, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the entity that administers the program.
For more information on NAP, visit the DCED’s website at: https://dced.pa.gov/programs/neighborhood-assistance-program-nap/