3 municipalities planning home rehabilitation programs

The city of Franklin, Cranberry Township and Sugarcreek Borough have set aside some money for home rehabilitation programs in their municipalities for low to moderate income residents who qualify for help.

The information was shared at this week’s Venango County Regional Planning Commission meeting.

Franklin received a HOME Grant from the federal government to rehabilitate homes owned by low to moderate income residents.

The planning commission is working with the City of Franklin to administer the grant, Josh Sterling, the planning commission’s deputy director, said. The city receives the applications and processes them, then the planning commission oversees the work that needs done on qualifying homes, Sterling said.

Both Cranberry Township and Sugarcreek Borough have set aside Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money over three years that will be used to fund home rehabilitation programs in those areas, Sterling said.

In June, a survey determined that more than 50% of Sugarcreek residents are above the low to moderate income level.

The result was that CDBG funds set aside for the rehabilitation of the Rocky Grove playground and paving projects on Prospect Avenue and Murdock Street were no longer eligible for the projects, CDBG administrator Barb Manski said at that time.

The CDBG funds were then pooled into home rehabilitation efforts.

Cranberry has allotted around $262,000 for the program and Sugarcreek has set aside about $227,000, Sterling said.

Cranberry and Sugarcreek residents can pick up applications at their municipal offices, Sterling said. He added that the applications should be returned to the planning commission and addressed to him.

Home rehabilitation includes taking care of lead based paint, mold asbestos and radon, as well as fixing foundation and structural issues, insulation and ventilation, electric and plumbing issues along with other indoor issues.

Outdoor projects include work on roofs, outbuildings, fences, sidewalks, porches, railings, decks, among other things, Sterling said.