Waynesboro homeless shelter seeks $400,000 to develop rental units

May 10, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Waynesboro’s New Hope Shelter is seeking grant money to develop seven apartments for renters on the second floor of its South Potomac Street facility.

The homeless shelter’s board of directors has asked the Franklin County (Pa.) Commissioners to assist it in applying for HOME Investment Partnership grant money.

The program requires that a local government agency apply on the shelter’s behalf.

If awarded the $400,000 being requested, New Hope Shelter would create seven apartments, including a pair of two-bedroom apartments. They would be rented to low-income individuals, with a particular focus placed on those people with disabilities.

“There is a great need for low-income housing, particularly for people with disabilities,” shelter Director Bill Burcher said Thursday.

“Special attention will be given to disabled veterans, the chronically homeless, and those with a Section 8 voucher,” said Phil Tarquino, county planning director.

Burcher said HOME Investment Partnership money would be coupled with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant totaling $521,000 that is already in hand.

Those two funding sources would be used to develop the second-floor into apartments and convert an existing freight elevator into a passenger elevator.

Donations from the public could be used to create apartments on the third floor, Burcher said.

No timeline has been established for the construction work to happen because it depends on revenue, he said.

The commissioners learned more about New Hope Shelter’s request at a meeting Thursday.

They also received a request from Interfaith Housing Alliance to construct single-family houses in Nottingham Meadows off Hykes Road in Antrim Township, Pa.

Those would be used for families whose incomes are 80 percent or less of the area median income, and they would be eligible for a no-interest loan for the down payment.

“They would also provide counseling services and financial counseling services for prospective buyers,” Tarquino said.

Interfaith Housing Alliance wants $174,000 in HOME Investment Partnership funding and $100,000 from another program, according to Tarquino.

“HOME is a federal program. It’s money for various types of housing initiatives, primarily to benefit low-income individuals,” Tarquino said.

The commissioners will host a public hearing about both requests at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 24, before deciding whether to apply on the organizations’ behalf.

New Hope Shelter, which had 154 clients last year, would have a social worker helping apartment residents with cleanliness, employment issues and bills for two years, Burcher said. Each vacant floor has 2,400 square feet of available space, he said.

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