Jun. 09, 2022

HARRISBURG – Rep. Parke Wentling (R-Crawford/Erie/Lawrence/Mercer) announced seven state grants totaling $985,000 to assist with affordable housing in Crawford, Erie, Lawrence and Mercer counties. 

“I am grateful to see this critical investment in affordable housing made in the counties I’m honored to serve,” said Wentling.

The grants are as follows:

$300,000 for Lawrence County Department of Planning and Community Development for a countywide blight removal program. It would identify targeted tipping-point neighborhoods, those in which public intervention has the potential to kick-start private investment and layer investments of different types to create multi-faceted revitalization projects. Grant funding would be used for demolition and rehabilitation, as well as to create a comprehensive strategy to improve the county.
$250,000 for the Redevelopment Authority of Lawrence County to assist with the Countywide Housing Rehabilitation and Blight Removal Program that the county has implemented.
$150,000 for Center for Family Services Inc. to provide housing options for individuals being released from the Crawford County Correctional Facility and State Correctional Institute (SCI) Cambridge Springs. This program would target individuals who have limited options for housing by providing intensive wrap-around case management and counseling services.
$120,000 for Erie County Department of Human Services MH/ID Office to support a temporary winter shelter, as well as non-congregate hotel and motel shelter needs. Short-term emergency shelter care funds would be used starting in November 2022 until the end of the 2022-2023 fiscal year. 
$75,000 for Erie Dawn Inc. to provide homeless women with or without children a home while giving them the supports, resources and tools they need to achieve economic self-sufficiency and permanent housing. In addition to shelter, the program gives them case management and rent and utility assistance; identifies reliable landlords; and provides financial management.
$50,000 for Housing Opportunities of Beaver County Inc. to expand the first-time homebuyer program in Lawrence County and counseling for a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) in both Beaver and Lawrence counties. Funding would be used for staffing and operational costs in both counties, and additional training for staff. 
$40,000 for Community Action Partnership of Mercer County (CAPMC) for its three-phase Assets Match Program. In phase one, participants complete a budget counseling program which is led by a HUD-certified housing counselor. Once the phase is completed, participants move into the second phase of our program housing counseling. In the third phase, participants can double their savings and CAPMC would match it up to $1,000 through grant dollars.

The grants were approved by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) program. PHARE is funded by Marcellus Shale impact fees, realty transfer taxes and the National Housing Trust Fund. PHARE projects fall into seven target categories including tax credits, homeless prevention, homeownership, housing counseling and financial education, innovative housing solutions, preservation/rehabilitation/renewal, and rental housing creation.

Representative Parke Wentling
17th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Nate Temple