Burns: $405,000 awarded to help the county with homelessness, affordable housing

HARRISBURG, June 21 State Rep. Frank Burns announced state funding of $255,000 was awarded to two entities that focus on ensuring residents in Cambria County have access to safe, affordable housing.

The Women’s Help Center Inc. received a total of $225,000 for two projects:

  • $75,000 to expand Cambria County emergency shelter services for men, along with the services already provided to women and their families. The agency also will create a housing hub to provide an array of housing resources, services and shelter to those in the county.
  • $150,000 for The Way Home Program, a low-barrier shelter diversion program that provides supporting short-term housing options and graduated rental assistance for individuals transitioning from emergency shelter or experiencing a housing crisis.

Serving both Cambria and Blair County residents, the Blair County Community Action Program will use $80,000 of its funding for housing counseling services for low-income and socially disadvantaged individuals and families to help them improve their housing conditions and meet the responsibility of homeownership or tenancy. The remaining $100,000 will be used to prevent homelessness by promoting self-sufficiency through services, counseling and education.

“One of the barriers to housing can be the lack of financial literacy – how to budget, manage finances and save, and make yourself self-sufficient,” said Burns, D-Cambria. “This funding will be used to help educate people to make themselves self-sufficient to put them on the path to homeownership or be good tenants.”

The funding was awarded through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund. PHARE was established by Act 105 of 2010 (the "PHARE Act") to provide the mechanism by which certain allocated state or federal funds, as well as funds from other outside sources, would be used to assist with the creation, rehabilitation and support of affordable housing throughout the Commonwealth.