Housing projects receive $95K in state funding

LOCK HAVEN — A Clinton County program to benefit families in need is among five housing-related projects in the 25th Senatorial District that will receive a total of $345,000 to improve availability and affordability of housing, according to state Sen. Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson.

Earning $95,000 is the Pennsylvania Interfaith Community Programs, Inc. New Start – Heating, Utilities, Housing and Transportation Assistance Program.

The New Start program will use this funding to help provide security deposit, rental assistance and heating/utility assistance to individuals and families across Clinton County and 11 additional counties in northeastern Pennsylvania.

It is anticipated that 45 households will benefit from this program.

Scarnati said the funding comes from Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) Fund, which is supported through revenues from the National Housing Trust Fund, Realty Transfer Tax and Marcellus Shale impact fees. The PHARE program is administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency which works to provide affordable homeownership and rental housing options for older adults, low and moderate income families and people with special housing needs.

“This funding from PHARE and Marcellus Shale impact fee collections is a great investment within our region, and will provide help to those who need it most,” Scarnati said. “It is essential that we make sure our communities have the support that they need to ensure people have access to safe and affordable housing within our local region.”

Others awarded funds were:

r Cameron County: Northern Tier Community Action: Cameron County Community and Economic Development Program, – $125,000. This funding will be used to reduce blight while increasing safety and the availability of affordable housing by purchasing two modular homes to be placed on abandoned and/or razed properties in Emporium. These homes will be sold or leased as rental units to residents with income below fifty percent area median income levels.

r Clearfield County: Mature Resources Foundation: ECHO Housing Demonstration Project – $50,000. The Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO) Housing Demonstration Project will use PHARE funds for the acquisition of two manufactured homes to be used as “Elder Cottages”. These cottages will be provided as a small, separate residence for an older family member to be placed on the side or rear yard of a family member.

r Cen-Clear Child Services, Inc.: Specialized Housing Counselor – $25,000. This funding will be used to provide rental assistance, case management and housing counseling services to low-to-moderate income households. The program will provide for learning of necessary skills for self-sufficiency and link families and individuals to existing community resources. It is anticipated that 75 households will benefit from this program.

r Jefferson County: Community Action, Inc.: Emergency Shelter and Rental Assistance Project – $50,000.The Emergency Shelter and Rental Assistance Project will use these funds to provide rent, mortgage, utility and legal assistance to Jefferson County’s low income population with an emphasis on disabled residents and seniors. Case managers will coordinate with other county services to provide comprehensive household support while maximizing resources. It is anticipated that 65 households will benefit from this program.

Scarnati said these five approved local projects are a part of 68 housing programs in 38 counties that were approved statewide through this round of PHARE funding.


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