County gets block grant funds for senior housing

LOCK HAVEN – The Clinton County commissioners just received $182,859 award from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to help facilitate public development of new housing for seniors in Greater Lock Haven.

The money comes via a Community Development Block Grant, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program that allocates funding annually to Pennsylvania, targeting three national objectives:

1. Benefiting low-to-moderate income (LMI) residents.

2. Preventing or eliminating blight.

3. Meeting urgent needs.

DCED allocates the funding to counties to expend on eligible projects and activities.

The 2017 CDBG project is the acquisition of property in Flemington Borough on which to erect Susquehannock Heights, a 32-unit senior housing development.

Jeff Rich, executive director of the county Housing Authority, says, “The authority has joined the commissioners in making a significant financial commitment to the project, because to us, the need for more senior housing in the County is obvious.”

The development will be financed, constructed and managed by the SEDA-COG Housing Development Corporation and partners, pending receipt of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) needed to finance the construction. According to Mike Fisher, SEDA-COG’s Housing Chief, the LIHTC program is very competitive. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) is in charge of awards, which are expected to be announced in May.

State Rep. Mike Hanna has given his full-fledged support to the project here at home and before PHFA in Harrisburg.

“This project has been in the works for many years, so I was happy to lend my support and am thrilled to see that Clinton County’s CDBG funding request was viewed favorably,” Hanna said. “Not only is this funding substantial to the county for purposes of acquiring property for 32 units of senior housing in Flemington, but it allows the county to take the first step towards addressing the significant shortage of affordable senior housing in our region.”