Two Siegel bills to address PA housing crisis headed to the House floor

HARRISBURG, June 5 – State Rep. Josh Siegel announced today two pieces of his legislation that would address Pennsylvania’s housing shortage were approved in the PA House Local Government Committee.

“I created both bills to address the chronic shortfall of housing here in the commonwealth,” said Siegel. “Conservative estimates say we are short 100,000 housing units statewide; the true number is likely far greater. This simple supply and demand imbalance is a major contributor to why housing is so extraordinarily expensive here. It’s why obtaining housing here has become cost prohibitive for young people looking for their first home or residence, and why seniors are struggling when they want to downsize. We cannot grow the economy if the workforce cannot find housing near their employment.”

House Bill 1976 would permit housing in areas zoned for commercial use, allowing for the creation of vibrant mixed-use communities and thriving main streets.

“Many buildings that are zoned for office space are sitting empty or are being drastically underutilized because businesses do not need as much office space due to much of that work culture being shifted to telework,” Siegel said.

House Bill 2045 would fill a gap in the Municipal Planning Code between large apartment buildings and single-family residences. The bill would permit the building of duplex, triplex and fourplex housing units in areas currently zoned for single-family residences.

“This bill is about the freedom to choose where to live,” said Siegel. “Far too many of our young people are priced out of the very communities where they grew up and went to school simply because of the lack of housing options. We used to live in communities where extended family could live in the same community, and the current system of single use zoning has led us to the crisis we see today.”

Siegel noted his gratitude to his colleagues for voting to approve his legislation.

House Bills 1976 and 2045 now head to the full House for consideration.