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The Board of Directors of the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland today announced the agency has been awarded a $175,000 grant through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund to rehabilitate single-family homes for low-income families in Westmoreland County. Focusing on veterans, people with disabilities, and those recently released from prison, the goal is to reduce homelessness and support integrated housing opportunities for some of the most vulnerable.
By leveraging the grant with county funding, the Authority plans to assist 35 households throughout Westmoreland County.
The Authority was selected as one of the 68 housing programs out of the 140 proposals statewide to receive funding from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). The grant will primarily support the Authority’s Homeownership Program – a rehabilitation program aimed at single-family housing of blighted properties in communities that are members of the county’s Land Bank. Thirty-percent of the grant funds will provide accessibility modifications to households with a person with a permanent physical disability who earns less than 50 percent of the area’s median income.
“This grant will help us continue our efforts to provide accessible housing options while supporting homeownership and safe housing for our most vulnerable residents,” said April Kopas, Executive Director of the Authority. “Our mission is to improve conditions for low-to-moderate income residents throughout Westmoreland County, and more importantly, to help keep these people in their homes.”
Applications for the program will be accepted beginning June 1, 2017, with review from a newly formed advisory board that includes representatives from the Westmoreland County Area Agency on Aging, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.
According to Authority Chairperson Don Kinosz, “The collaboration with these agencies is the key to a comprehensive approach that makes a larger impact in accessible housing in the county. We could not do this alone.”
“I want to thank Governor Wolf and the state legislature for the passage and signing of Act 58, which has made all of this possible,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson, Sr. “This funding will be used to leverage another $214.7 million in public and private monies, creating a much larger impact well beyond today’s initial investment of PHARE/RTT dollars. Many families will be helped by this additional funding.”
To learn more, visit the Authority’s website at: www.westmorelandredevelopment.com.