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Centre County Gets New Funding to Expand Homemaker Services Program

by on November 29, 2017 12:07 PM

Centre County's Office of Adult Services received new funding to expand a program that provides direct, in-home supportive service and long-term case management to low-income, disabled residents.

The Homemakers Services Program received $26,000 from the first-ever statewide grants issued by the recently expanded state housing trust fund --  the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund (PHARE).

The grant allows the program to serve additional residents with services and tasks to maintain independent living. The Homemakers Services Program provides individuals with a few monthly hours of assistance with non-medical personal care and home chores, helping residents maintain their quality of life.

“The Homemakers Services Program provides an outlet to assist residents when there isn’t a support system in place, and the program also helps us address the county’s challenge of affordable housing by keeping people in their homes” said Faith Ryan, director of adult services. “The PHARE grant is helping stretch our program dollars further so we can assist more residents maintain their quality of life.”

The program now serves 35 households in Centre County.

PHARE was created in 2010 with revenue from the Marcellus Shale impact fee and initially used to support affordable homes in the Shale region through rehabbing rental properties, homeowner repairs, rental assistance, site preparation, new construction.

The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, a statewide coalition, led a successful campaign to expand the fund to the rest of Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation in November 2015 that pays for expansion without new fees or raising taxes, instead drawing revenue from future growth of the realty transfer tax.

Earlier this year, grant funding through PHARE was awarded to 68 initiatives in 38 counties.

“The housing trust fund is working exactly as we thought it would when we advocated for its creation,” said Phyllis Chamberlain, executive director of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania. “These dollars that come from home sales go right back into the housing market to create more homes for others.”

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