Bristol Township School District will receive $250,000 annually for the next decade thanks to a PILOT from the Bucks County Housing Authority. Presented by County Commissioner Chairman Rob Loughery, the funds will help BTSD offer quality education to its students.
Loughery announced the PILOT at Wednesday night’s BTSD meeting. While he said it was rewarding to help, his focus is on how he can help.
“It’s what we’re trying to do, which is strengthen communities. What’s important in communities is affordable housing, education, and safe communities, and being able to support the Bristol Township School District.,” Loughery told WBCB. “Because the Housing Authority is in such a strong financial position now, they’re able to make that investment and contribution to the schools.”
Known to many as ‘payment in lieu of taxes,’ PILOT’s offer school districts with some low income students a form compensation for missed property taxes.
For example, Bristol Township School District has about 250 students who live in Venice Ashby Phase 1 and 2. These apartments are offered by the Bucks County Housing Authority to low-income families, seniors, and disabled people. Because they are low-income, these families do not pay taxes to the school district.
While this is certainly helpful to the families, the school district misses out on money used to help pay for these students’ education. The PILOT helps the school function as if it still had that payment stream.
The Commissioner said he had been working with the Housing Authority to facilitate new programs to help out Bucks County. Loughery saw the PILOT as a way to support the school district and students living in Venice Ashby.
“One of my early priorities as a commissioner was economic development and community development, and recently there’s also been a focus on workforce development,” said Loughery, who serves on the PA Housing Finance Agency Board. “But in addition to that over the last couple years, under community development I’ve been very passionate and committed to looking at ways to enhance affordable housing.”
The Bucks County Housing Authority manages more than 9000 units throughout the county. People looking for affordable housing in the area can visit the authority’s website here.