EBENSBURG, May 31 – Clued in by a concerned tenant who shared a notice that Oakhurst and Coopersdale public housing are now in play for a wholesale redevelopment, state Rep. Frank Burns is reiterating his call for the Johnstown Housing Authority to reveal what impact HUD’s required “ equity plan ” could have on the effort. Burns, D-Cambria, said the notice sent his way said public meetings held today in Oakhurst and tomorrow in Coopersdale are to discuss the JHA’s pursuit of a Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant , as part of a “Transformation Plan” for those communities. Burns said the JHA is looking to “explore rehabilitation and redesign potential, and assess the potential of mixed-income redevelopment with a public-private financing model,” according to the notice. According to the facilities listing on the JHA website, Oakhurst has 100 units, Oakhurst Extension has 300 units and Coopersdale has 121 units. Added to the 110 units at the recently vacated Prospect community, that means 631 of the JHA’s 983 family housing units could be impacted by redevelopment. “What’s unclear at this point is whether those communities would be rebuilt at their current locations, which are all in the city of Johnstown, or whether they could be placed elsewhere in Cambria County,” Burns said, noting that the JHA currently operates a 56-unit complex in Nanty Glo Read more
“Securing this new funding is going to support reclamation work that will expand access to recreational trails, provide access for maintenance of the Inclined Plane and build on other projects underway to expand hillside recreation and tourism for the area," Burns said. Read more
“The JHA told me it needed a 30-day extension to determine whether the information I was requesting needed to be released – then basically turned around and released the same information to news outlets 13 days later,” Burns said. “By doing so, the JHA has proven that it likes to play games. It’s no wonder the public gets fed up with how they operate.” Read more
“Military families can’t control the dynamics of their lives when engaged in serving our nation,” Burns said. “Students shouldn’t be penalized for their families having to answer the call of duty. My bill would make sure they aren’t.” Read more
Burns, D-Cambria, said although the equity plans are a well-publicized requirement for housing authorities – with potential far-reaching implications – he has heard precious little from the JHA about the steps it is taking toward compliance. Read more
Burns, D-Cambria, specifically balked at criminalizing gun owners who’ve done nothing wrong, instead of going after gun-using criminals, many of whom are already prohibited from owning firearms because of prior convictions. Read more
“The nature of military service requires them to go where and when they’re needed, so miltary parents can’t control where they’re sent,” Burns said. “That unpredictability shouldn’t penalize them or their children when it comes to their child’s higher education. My bill would make sure they aren’t.” Read more
“Manufacturing steel domestically guarantees not only that steel is produced with ample regulatory oversight, but also produces an incredible economic multiplier in the process, and helps improve our safety and security,” Burns said. “It was great to meet with both labor and management from the steel industry today to learn more about the positive impact the industry is having in the Commonwealth.” Read more
As part of the fourth round of the Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, there is approximately $900,000 available in grant funding. The funds will support digital literacy and job training programs in communities that lack access to broadband infrastructure and high-speed internet. Read more
“It’s incredible the JHA isn’t sure that taxpayer money spent on public housing should be public information,” Burns said. “I think what they really want is 30 days to come up with some creative excuse for not complying with my request.” Read more
“I’ve always made economic development a priority, and supported programs and grants to make education, training and jobs more accessible to improve the region’s economy,” Burns said. “This grant will give more students more opportunities to work toward higher education and a successful future.” Read more
In the interest of truth and accuracy let’s dissect what was – and wasn’t -- said by Vision Together 2025 chairman Bill Polacek and the Tribune-Democrat in the recent news story, “Many businesses dealing with staff shortages, exploring immigrant employment.” Read more
“As I suspected, HUD has been pretty involved in what’s happening at Prospect from the get-go, and there are some pretty revealing and newsworthy details in these emails I obtained and am sharing,” Burns said. “I am presenting this information solely as a public service, providing pieces of the information puzzle so everyone can get a fuller understanding of what is being discussed.” Read more
EBENSBURG, April 6 – Vigorously committed to those who serve our country, state Rep. Frank Burns is reintroducing his bipartisan proposal to ensure the children and spouses of military families in Pennsylvania qualify for in-state college tuition if a parent is deployed or reassigned out-of-state, hoping this time it won’t be procedurally thwarted in the state Senate. Burns, D-Cambria, has seen the bill sail through the House of Representatives with unanimous and bipartisan approval in prior legislative sessions –garnering approval from a key Senate committee– only to die on the vine by not being scheduled for a final vote in the upper chamber. “This has happened twice, for reasons that defy logic and are a disservice to those who defend our country,” Burns said. “The full Senate has voted two times to move this legislation to a final vote – which has never taken place. This gamesmanship needs to end.” Burns said his House Bill 804 is straightforward and sensible: It would guarantee in-state tuition rates to military families as soon as a student enrolls or registers at a community college or submits an enrollment deposit to a four-year public college or university, even if their military parent is later reassigned to another state. “I challenge anyone serving in the state Senate to publicly state why this bill shouldn’t become the law in Pennsylvania,” Burns said. “The House of Read more
“The JHA continues dancing around this issue, instead of providing a full, substantive accounting of what triggered an action unprecedented in its history,” Burns said. “If a single ceiling collapse in one of Prospect’s 110 housing units caused this to happen, as they are claiming, it must be one hell of a structural issue. I aim to find out.” Read more
“Unfortunately, many animals in Pennsylvania wind up in shelters because of abuse or neglect, or because they simply don’t have a home,” Burns said. “As shelters fill up, it becomes costly to feed and take care of the animals, and this drive can help.” Read more
Anyone wishing to donate unexpired, nonperishable food items may drop off items at one of Burns' offices between April 1 and April 30. Read more
EBENSBURG, March 28 – State Rep. Frank Burns will host a free Senior Scam Prevention Seminar at the Nanty Glo Fire Hall on Friday, April 14. “Scams and frauds are increasingly targeting older Pennsylvanians; the good news is that there are resources available to assist seniors, their families and caregivers.,” Burns said. “I have invited the Office of Attorney General to join me in discussing and recognizing the threat of fraud in Pennsylvania’s older population.” The Senior Scam Prevention Seminar will provide crime prevention education to Pennsylvania senior citizens, 55 years or older. The goal is to bring awareness to the threat of fraud, teach adults how to avoid being victimized, and detail the proper contacts when concerns arise about safety and well-being. The presentation will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Nanty Glo Fire Hall, 870 Chestnut St. Those who are interested in attending must RSVP by Monday, April 10, by calling Burns’ Ebensburg office at (814) 472-8021. Read more
Burns said he went to the meeting hoping to learn answers to many lingering questions about the JHA’s sudden decision to give tenants in Prospect’s numerous row housing buildings 30 days to vacate their homes. Read more
Both grants are designed to help local governments, businesses, nonprofits and recreation and conservation organizations with projects related to parks, open spaces and trails. Read more
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