Ciresi announces $1.58M in grants for affordable housing projects

HARRISBURG, June 14 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today announced $1.58 million in PA Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund awards for affordable housing and homelessness prevention projects in his legislative district.

“I am very glad that these deserving projects have been funded in this round of PHARE grants,” Ciresi said. “Housing affordability is a major issue and a struggle for many people in our area. Everyone needs safe and secure housing in order to thrive. I believe this funding will help strengthen the social net in our communities, build strong families, and set individuals on the way to financial success.”

$80,000        Access Services Recovery Oriented Rapid Rehousing

Access Services will use funds to support five recovery orientated rapid rehousing units. These units will be targeted to individuals exiting substance abuse recovery settings or street homeless individuals struggling to maintain sobriety due to homelessness.

$125,000      College Student Basic Needs Program Affordable Housing Scholarship Fund – TriCounty Community Network on behalf of the College Student Basic Needs Program

The College Student Basic Needs Program will use the funds to assist under-resourced college students experiencing housing and food insecurity to stay in school, succeed academically, graduate and obtain better paying employment. One program provides housing scholarships for rental assistance to avoid evictions. A significant portion of the students assisted through this program are people of color and/or represent a diverse array of other demographic groups. Many commute to school, hold down low-paying jobs, and have families.

$100,000      Housing Counseling for Montgomery County – Clarifi

Clarifi's Housing Stability Counseling program will use the funds to prevent evictions and foreclosures, assist in steps to homeownership including pre-purchase counseling, and keep their clients in safe and sustainable housing.

$800,000      Montgomery County Your Way Home

The Your Way Home program, administered by the Montgomery County Office of Housing and Community Development, will use the funding to help end and/or prevent homelessness throughout the county. Funds will be used to provide supportive homeless prevention services and financial assistance for at risk individuals and families whose income is at or below 50% average median income.

$275,000      Roof Replacement at Robert P. Smith Towers – MCHA

The Montgomery County Housing Authority will use the funds to replace the roof of an 80-unit, senior/disabled subsidized rental housing building in downtown Pottstown.

$200,000      Mosaic CLT Homeownership Rehabilitation and Housing-Related Services Project #2 – Preservation Pottstown Inc.

Mosaic CLT will use the funding to help a household that is low-income to access homeownership through shared-equity housing and provide homeowner rehabilitation grants to low-income households.

PHARE was established by Act 105 of 2010 (the "PHARE Act") to provide the mechanism by which certain allocated state or federal funds, as well as funds from other outside sources, would be used to assist with the creation, rehabilitation and support of affordable housing throughout the Commonwealth. The PHARE Act did not allocate any funding but did outline specific requirements that include preferences, considerations, match funding options and obligations to utilize a percentage of the funds to assist households below 50% of the median area income.

Money to fund this round of PHARE applications came from two sources: Marcellus Shale Impact Fees and Realty Transfer Taxes.