McKeesport, county focus on handicapped accessibility in rental housing
By Jennifer R. Vertullo
Published: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 1:06 a.m.
McKeesport is partnering with Allegheny County to bring the Accessibility Modification Program to city landlords whose tenants may need improved accessibility.
“It may be a handicapped ramp outside or grab bars in the bathroom area,” McKeesport Housing Corp. executive director Jim Haughey said. “It's not a program that will make your place ADA-compliant, but it may help you provide reasonable accommodations.”
McKeesport Housing Corp. is facilitating applications for projects not to exceed $4,500 each, thanks to a contract linking the city to the county's Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
“It's a very nice opportunity for the city of McKeesport to be able to help enhance some of the properties within the city while accommodating residents with disabilities,” Mayor Michael Cherepko said.
The Accessibility Modification Program will be available through June in McKeesport, a time frame in which McKeesport Housing Corp. officials said they hope to complete at least 10 projects.
Each project requires a two-part application for the landlord and tenant. The tenant must qualify financially by earning 80 percent or less of the area median income, which translates to $36,500 for a single person.
Program coordinator Angelia Christina, a fair housing officer with McKeesport Housing Corp., said the city's participation in Allegheny County's Accessibility Modification Program illustrates McKeesport's commitment to furthering fair housing opportunities.
In November 2011, McKeesport entered a voluntary compliance agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to “affirmatively further” fair housing opportunities.
“This will make existing properties more accessible,” Christina said. “As people's circumstances change, they may find themselves in need of certain modifications in a unit where they are comfortable and don't want to leave.”
Frank Miklos, who moved into a first-floor apartment along Summit Street after suffering a heart attack and stroke 10 years ago, completed an application last week with landlord Ron Maloney.
“I have a great landlord who is willing to help me out in any way he can,” Miklos told Christina during a tour of his apartment. “We want to concentrate on the bathroom area, so I can get around easier in there.”
Miklos' left leg is paralyzed. He goes outside with a motorized wheelchair or scooter, and he uses a cane indoors.
“I get around fine, because I'm used to it,” Miklos said. “This is a great program that will make my life easier at home. People should know that if they need help, it's out there.”
McKeesport Housing Corp. also operates programs to improve owner-occupied homes, but with different funding sources.
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Legendary wrestler, promoter heads to McKeesport to scout talent
- West Mifflin Area School District seeks readjustment for millage
- Reporter shares personal flesh-eating bacteria story with South Allegheny students
- Local mayors pay annual visit to McKeesport Area Meals on Wheels
- Forward supervisors, residents seek township road improvements
- Oakmont father-son team’s efforts help add Mon Valley names to police memorial
- Serra Catholic High School friary to house foreign students
- Food service rate changes add to Clairton school’s budget
- Mon-Yough schools participate in Southwestern PA BotsIQ finals
- Former Ben Avon Episcopal priest sentenced in child pornography case
- Elizabeth residents voice concerns over garbage billing