Grants support affordable housing, water project

HARRISBURG, April 17 – State Rep. Maureen Madden said three Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency grants totaling $205,000 were awarded to lessen the low-income housing crisis in Monroe County and to help complete a local water project.   

“It’s unfortunate that unaffordable housing continues to plague residents in communities across Pennsylvania. It’s my hope that these grants will play a part in helping to remedy these situations in at least a portion of Monroe County,” Madden said of the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Funds.

“It’s important that we improve economic opportunities and expand job training programs, so people can afford decent housing and still put food on their table and buy other necessities.”

A $50,000 grant will help United Way of Monroe County to provide case management to households at risk of homelessness. Rental assistance also will be provided for households experiencing a housing crisis and for those who are struggling with low incomes within a housing cost-burdened community.

Integra Home Counseling will use its $5,000 grant for the Monroe Community Land Trust with the goal of maintaining properties as affordable for low-income households. The trust will work with community banks to finance mortgages for certain properties that will be made available to eligible homebuyers.

Chestnuthill Township will use its $150,000 grant for the Sun Valley Water System Rehabilitation project to provide new water service connections to the residents of Sun Valley and the Sun Valley manufactured home community. The grant will be combined with other state funding to construct a new water system for residents who have been sporadically without water for three years.

Funding for the PHARE program comes from three main sources. Since 2012, the program has received a portion of the impact fees collected from natural gas companies operating in the state with the goal of addressing the housing shortage caused by the impact of drilling. That is supplemented with two major new funding sources that include a portion of the realty transfer tax and money from the National Housing Trust Fund.