Programs help keep Butler County homes functional for those in need
The Butler County Housing Authority expects to begin awarding grants within the next few weeks for projects designed to make it easier for the physically disabled to stay in their homes.
“What we run into more often is that people need ramps to their homes, or grab bars, or they need to widen doorways so wheelchairs can get through,” said Perry O'Malley, executive director of the authority. “This is everything from a lifesaver to eliminating major inconveniences.”
Grants of up to $5,000 will be available for work, including kitchen renovations, installing bathrooms on the first floor of homes and exterior renovations, such as constructing ramps. The authority works with about a dozen contractors and will pay them directly for the work.
County Commission Chairman Bill McCarrier said the grants are important to keep people from being forced to leave their homes and enter nursing homes.
“If you can help the handicapped stay in their homes, it gives them more pride and they're healthier when they're in their own homes, instead of being displaced and moved into a nursing home or an assisted-living home,” he said.
The state Department of Community & Economic Development gave $100,000 this year toward the program. Butler County Commissioners matched that with another $100,000 from fees collected by the recorder of deeds.
“This goes a long way to maintaining independence, dignity and being self-sufficient,” O'Malley said.
Housing authority officials are looking at applications, O'Malley said, to see who is eligible and what kind of work people need. The county has about 17 families identified, O'Malley said, adding that the grants could pay for work at 25 to 30 homes.
Rental properties are eligible for the program, O'Malley said, and the housing authority is working with landlords.
A similar program ended four years ago when the state withdrew the funding, O'Malley said.
“We are constantly seeking funding sources for problems we've been made aware of,” O'Malley said.
The authority has other home rehab programs. For example, income-eligible homeowners can receive up to $12,500 in grants for rehabilitation to their owner-occupied homes, including electrical, heating, roofs, window replacement and plumbing work. Another $2,500 is available for those making improvements to make the home more accessible.
The authority has about $400,000 available for homes in the southwest portion of the county, and another $300,000 in the northern portion. O'Malley said the program is structured so that if the homeowner sells the property within five or seven years of making the improvements, he or she has to pay that money back.
That program is funded through state money and a 10-percent match from the county.
For additional information about other homeownership programs, go to www.housingauthority.com.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 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.
- Cranberry woman found dead in car that went over embankment
- Newsmaker: Sara Mantick
- Middlesex supervisors permit drilling in most of township
- Building projects lead to financial hole for Butler County schools
- Middlesex, Adams residents say size of boards matters
- Project to expand Freedom Road bridge over turnpike moves forward
- Job fair adds speculation about Aldi store in Cranberry
- Seneca Valley plans to equip entire bus fleet with video cameras
- Butler County briefs: Seneca Valley buys land