CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Commissioners voted to accept $125,000 from the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) Fund and Marcellus Shale impact fees during Tuesday’s regular meeting.
The county initiated the PHARE funding request in May for blight prevention and housing rehabilitation. Its project was among those selected for funding by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and the commissioners signed the conditional award letter to accept the funds.
Clearfield County’s Bight Prevention & Housing Rehabilitation initiative includes three components, according to Clearfield County Planning Director Jodi Brennan. She said the Residential Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program would be an organized grant program to assist residents who are below 50 percent of the median area income. These individuals would need home improvements to address safety, integrity and accessibility issues associated with their homes. Eligible homeowners, she said, may apply for up to $3,000.
The Rental Housing Rehabilitation Program would be a matching grant to assist landlords with bringing their rental units into compliance with safety, integrity and accessibility while requiring rental units to be made available at fair market value for households that are below 50 percent of the median area income for a term of seven years. The program would require the landlord to invest $1 in private funds for every $1 provided in PHARE funds, said Brennan.
The Blight Mitigation Program, she said, would provide funding to municipalities for the demolition of priority blighted structures that are unfit for habitation, unsound or in danger of collapse, cause a public nuisance, lack utility services and have vermin or housing vagrants. She said municipalities would be required to match funds dollar-for-dollar with either public or private funds and to acquire site control, and may partner with another entity, such as a redeveloper or qualifying conservator.