BLAIR COUNTY, PA (WTAJ) – Over $1 million dollars worth of state grants were approved by the Blair County Commissioners to help with the counties housing problems.

The grants come from two different state programs.

One grant, totaling $315,000, is a conditional award of the HOME Investment Partnerships Program Fund. This grant comes from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). Specifically, this money will go towards providing greater access to affordable housing.

Bruce Erb, Chairman of the Blair County Commissioners mentioned that affordable housing is one of the greatest challenges that Pennsylvania counties are facing right now. He noted that inflation has played a role in making housing

“Higher utility and other costs are obviously a concern. So, the more affordable housing units offered, the more we can make sure that we’re reducing homelessness and providing people a decent place to live,” Erb said.

The second grant, totaling $741,487, was a submission of a Whole-Home Repairs Program Grant Application. This application was also submitted to the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The money from this grant will go towards housing repair projects, weatherization and affordable housing. Currently, 104 applicants have submitted applications just for repairs but were waitlisted. Each homeowner can receive up to $50,000 for housing repair projects.

“The important message is that it’s going to do things to help housing and improve the quality of housing as well as the affordability,” Erb said “Making decent housing available and making existing housing better, which are good things for everyone in Blair County.”

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The county hopes that these funds will be used to shorten the waitlist for multiple repair projects.