HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday more than $1 million in funding through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to support affordable housing in Centre County.
“All Pennsylvanians deserve access to affordable, safe and livable spaces in their communities,” Wolf said. “This investment will support State College’s efforts to ensure that residents have affordable housing options in close proximity to the borough’s commercial corridors, downtown and Penn State University for work, school and shopping needs.”
Under the program, $945,000 will be distributed to State College Borough to acquire and rehabilitate eight three-bedroom townhouses on one parcel located along South Allen Street six blocks from Beaver Avenue.
The State College Community Land Trust (SCCLT) will own the land, and the Temporary Housing Foundation (THF) will own the improvements and manage the affordable units.
Three units will be rented to those at less than 50 percent of the area median income. Five units will be occupied by those at less than 80 percent of the area median income.
The borough will also receive Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) HOME awards to support the operations of its project partners, two DCED-certified Community Development Housing Organizations (CHDOs).
THF will receive $88,501 to acquire and rehabilitate the eight rental units on 803-817 Old Boalsburg Road. SCCLT will receive $52,100 to support CHDO operating expenses accrued while developing an Acquisition/Rehabilitation First-Time Homebuyer property using a previously awarded DCED HOME project grant.
There is aggressive competition for rental units in State College Borough, which drives up the cost of rent, making it difficult for the HOME funding-targeted population to access homes at an affordable price. Students, visitors, and commuters create demand for rental housing and drive prices up, and units closest to education and employment opportunities are rented at the highest prices.
This creates challenges for lower-income individuals and families, who are forced to locate further away from their jobs or schools and must spend more in transportation expenses. These HOME funds will provide necessary funding to address these challenges in the borough.
The HOME program provides federal funding to assist municipalities and local governments in expanding and preserving a supply of affordable housing for low- and very low-income Pennsylvanians.
HOME funds can be used in a variety of ways to address critical housing needs, including market-oriented approaches that offer opportunities such as homeownership or rental activities to revitalize communities with new investment.
HOME program funds are provided to DCED from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the annual entitlement appropriation process.