The Elk County Planning Department on behalf of the Elk County Board of Commissioners has recently procured $500,000.00 from the HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The program funding procured will be utilized through the Elk County Housing Rehabilitation Program (ECHRP) to conduct Single Residential Owner- Occupied Housing Rehabilitation activities.
According to the grant guidelines, certain geographic areas must be targeted for each funding round. The Elk County Housing Rehabilitation Program has chosen to target seventy – five percent (75%) of the funds to eligible residents age sixty – two (62) or older within the municipalities of Benezette, Fox, and Jay Townships and the remaining twenty – five percent (25%) of the funds will target Low to Moderate Income households with the municipalities of Fox and Jay Townships. It is hoped that funding can be utilized to target other areas throughout the county with future grant applications.
The Elk County Housing Rehabilitation Program has been established to provide housing rehabilitation modifications to Single Residential Owner Occupied properties within Elk County. Throughout our neighborhoods, the preservation of housing stock has become one of the primary objectives of citizens, elected officials, and staff professionals, who believe quality of housing is a primary source of neighborhood stability. The decline of housing stock can be attributed to factors such as: lack of general routine maintenance and upkeep, affordability, and the increasing age of the housing stock. The direction of the program is to preserve existing housing stock. The effort will ensure more adequate housing to low-and moderate-income families because it will help to preserve and stabilize existing communities. The objectives of the program are: To prevent moderately declining neighborhoods from further deterioration by providing rehabilitation funding and technical assistance, to provide safe and efficient housing within the financial reach of area residents, to partner with other programs for maximum impact, and to create a revolving pool of housing rehabilitation funds.
The general qualifications of the program include but are not limited to the following: The owner must qualify as very low or low to moderate income according to criteria established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Section 8 Housing Program; applicant must own the home for a minimum of 6 months and provide verification of ownership (deed); it must be the occupant’s principle residence; the home must be insured; property taxes paid current; and finally, applicant must be a resident of Elk County. Applicants are reminded that submitting an application for the Elk County Housing Rehabilitation Program does not guarantee that you, as an applicant, or your home is eligible for assistance. Due to the programs selection process additional priority may be given to leveraging of targeted areas and or populations.
The Elk County Housing Rehabilitation Program will assist residents to bring their homes at least up to the minimum housing repair and replacement rehabilitation standards and address any code, safety, welfare sub-standard conditions of the unit that are posing an immediate threat to the livability of the unit. Some related examples of housing rehabilitation repairs may include the following: Foundation, Structure, Exterior Surface, Window(s), Door (s), Porches, Decks, Exterior Steps, Roofs, Ventilation, Electrical Systems, Service and Receptacles, Lighting Fixtures, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, Heating Systems, Plumbing Systems, Required Facilities, Sewage System, Water Heating, Water Quality, Interior Surfaces, Stairs and Open Spaces, Sanitary Condition, Safety and Egress, Heat and Smoke Detectors, Site Improvements, Drainage, Air Quality / Rodents or Vermin Control, Lead Based Paint, Asbestos, Radon, and Energy Conservation.
Since 2010, an estimated thirty six (36) residents have received emergency repair rehabilitation modifications through the Elk County Emergency Repair Rehabilitation Program, and approximately (17) residents have received general repair rehabilitation modifications through the Elk County Housing Rehabilitation Program. Approximately fifteen (15) residents have received accessible housing rehabilitation modifications through the Elk County Accessible Housing Program. Elk County’s direction and continued track record of cooperative efforts and multiple housing programs administered over the last six (6) years resulted in an estimated sixty eight (68) rehabilitation projects being completed, not including Homeless Prevention and related Emergency Shelter Grant projects.
Elk County hopes to continue with the Elk County Housing Rehabilitation Program, now and in the future. Funding opportunities through the state and federal government are not always guaranteed but as long as they are offered, Elk County’s Housing Program specialist will make every effort to ensure that Elk County attempts to receive a share. These types of programs are imperative in order to provide safe affordable housing opportunities and provide local residents the freedom to make independent living choices.
Elk County residents within the specified targeted areas of Benezette, Fox, and Jay Townships may request additional information about the Elk County Housing Rehabilitation Program by contacting the;
COUNTY OF ELK, Elk County Planning Department
Elk County Courthouse Annex Building
300 Center Street, P.O. Box 448, Ridgway, PA 15853-0448