Local Housing Improvement Projects Receive State Grants

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) recently awarded $315,000 in grants for housing improvement efforts in Butler, Warren, Clarion and Venango counties, according to Senator Scott Hutchinson.

A grant of $275,000 was awarded to the Butler County Acquisition/Rehab Program. Warren County’s Roofing Program received a $30,000 grant. Clarion County’s PHARE Rental Assistance Program received a $25,000 grant and $15,000 was awarded to Venango County’s Veterans Fairweather Lodge Program.

The grants are funded under the Marcellus Shale impact fee legislation, Act 13 of 2012, which allocates certain amounts from the impact fee into PHFA’s Housing Trust Fund (PHARE) to address the need for affordable housing in counties where producing nonconventional gas wells are located.

“The PHARE program provides an excellent way to invest the Marcellus Shale impact fee revenue to improve the availability of affordable housing in areas where drilling is taking place,” Senator Hutchinson said. “These grants will help a number of at-risk individuals and families secure and keep housing. This state investment will assist the counties’ efforts to increase and improve their affordable housing opportunities even as they enjoy the economic benefits provided to our region by the shale industry.”

The Butler County Acquisition and Rehabilitation Program will use the PHARE funding to acquire properties throughout the county and rehabilitate them for use as affordable rental housing for vulnerable populations. Proceeds from future rental payments will be used to cover property expenses on those units as well as the acquisition and rehabilitation of additional affordable rental housing.

The Warren County Roofing Program will use the grant to assist homeowners with needed roof repairs in order to maintain the safety, energy efficiency and overall health of the home. Once necessary repairs are complete, eligible households may also be referred to the Weatherization Department for additional energy improvements. It is anticipated that 12 households will be assisted through this program.

The Clarion County PHARE Rental Assistance Program provides assistance to homeless and near homeless households in the form of rental and mortgage payments, security deposits, utility arrearages, emergency shelter and case management.

The Veterans Fairweather Lodge Program will use PHARE funds to support the initial start-up and operating costs to house four veterans with mental health diagnoses, while promoting employment and health living practices.

Contact:          Justin Leventry           (717) 787-9684

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