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A.R. BUILDING COMPANY v. PENNSYLVANIA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY (11/22/85)

decided: November 22, 1985.

A.R. BUILDING COMPANY, PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency in case of Re: A.R. Building Co.-Pacific Realty, Cooper Ridge Apartments, dated October 1, 1984.

COUNSEL

W. Thomas Laffey, Jr., with him, Maurice A. Nernberg, Jr., Nernberg & Laffey, for petitioner.

Gwendolyn T. Mosley, Deputy Attorney General, with her, Allen C. Warshaw, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Chief Litigation Section, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondent.

Clifford B. Levine, with him, Ralph F. Scalera and David A. Reis, Thorp, Reed & Armstrong, for intervenor, Pacific Realty Corporation, Inc.

Judges Craig and Palladino, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 93 Pa. Commw. Page 141]

A.R. Building Company (Company) appeals from a refusal by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) to disclose, pursuant to the Right-to-Know Law (Law),*fn1 a market survey which Pacific Realty Corporation (Pacific)*fn2 had submitted to the PHFA with its application for funding, upon which the PHFA had taken no final action.*fn3

The appeal presents two questions. We must decide whether the PHFA is covered by the Law, and whether a market survey submitted by a private applicant is a "public record" before the agency has disposed of the application.

Coverage of The Law

The Law applies to an "agency", which its section 1(1) defines as:

[ 93 Pa. Commw. Page 142]

Any department, board or commission of the executive branch of the Commonwealth, any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, or any Page 142} State or municipal authority or similar organization created by or pursuant to a statute which declares in substance that such organization performs or has for its purpose the performance of an essential governmental function.*fn4 (Emphasis added.)

The legislative declaration of purpose for the creation of the PHFA was to provide financing for the construction and rehabilitation of homes and rental housing for persons of moderate and low incomes.*fn5 Our Supreme Court affirmed that legislative declaration in Johnson v. Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, 453 ...


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