CLEARFIELD – At Tuesday’s regular board meeting, the Clearfield County Commissioners approved awarding a total of $52,500 in funding for five, different affordable housing projects.
The county recently solicited applications for affordable housing projects to be funded by the Clearfield County Affordable Housing Fund. Projects were to increase the availability of quality, affordable housing either through sales or rental to any county resident whose annual income is less than the median, according to Jodi Brennan, planning director.
Eligible projects included owner-occupied rehabilitation, rental rehabilitation, first-time home buyers programs, housing counseling programs, emergency repairs programs, elderly, special needs and disabled housing, veterans housing, new home construction, land banks, transitional housing, homeless shelters, community stabilization programs, foreclosure prevention, emergency rental assistance and bridge loans for rental housing development.
The county received a total of six applications, which were reviewed by the county’s planning and community development office based upon the program guidelines. “The request for funds totaled $90,000, which was more than the award funding available. Not all projects could be funded or fully-funded,” explained Brennan.
Funding awards were approved for the following projects:
- Clover Development Corp./Northern Cambria Community Development Corp, $15,000. Funds are for the construction of 30, new elderly housing units at the Leonard Street Gardens. These funds would address a priority identified in the county’s housing study and leverage more than $7 million in additional funds. It was noted by Brennan that this is the fourth year of a five-year commitment, and the county is holding the funds for the project.
- Mature Resources Foundation (Area Agency on Aging), $15,000. Funds are for the purchase of an ECHO cottage, a small, separate manufactured residence, that is placed in the side or rear yard of a family-host home for an elderly family member. When it’s no longer needed, the cottage can be relocated. Costs for an ECHO cottage are significantly lower than a nursing home and allows seniors to remain in their communities.
- Clearfield County Housing Authority, $7,500. Funds are to create a program that provides an incentive for private investment in the improvement of rental units for use of HUD housing vouchers. This program would offer landlords 50 percent reimbursement of costs for making such improvements up to $1,000. It would also ensure that there are quality rental units available at HUD required rental rates, which assures county families have safe, quality, affordable housing.
- Clearfield-Jefferson Drug & Alcohol Commission, $7,500. Funds are for a program to prevent re-incarceration of those who are struggling with substance abuse. It was noted by Brennan that many find it difficult to secure housing when released from jail, which becomes a barrier to them receiving treatment. Funds would assist 10 people overcome the barriers, help them secure housing and a treatment program.
- Community Connections, $7,500. Funds are for program to assist eight chronically homeless families.
Since 2012, Clearfield County has awarded more than $341,570 in Affordable Housing Trust Funds, according to Brennan.