Jan. 26—MERCER — The Mercer County commissioners anticipate the county’s Whole Home Repairs Program will start in July.
The county will receive close to $1.4 million to repair county residents’ houses at no cost to homeowners.
Commissioners will make information available to the public in late spring or early summer concerning how residents can apply for the program.
The program, overseen by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, is a first-time grant program through the American Rescue Plan Act.
The Community Action Partnership of Mercer County, which will administer the program, has submitted its application for the money. Next, it should take about two months for the state to process it, said Ann Morrison, Mercer County chief clerk.
The dollars coming to Mercer County will address habitability and safety concerns of homes and improve energy or water accessibility for families who cannot afford to make repairs.
Wilma Torres, executive director and CEO of Community Action Partnership, said there are eligibility requirements, including income guidelines.
The program is intended to address of major issues in the home, such as extermination services, replacing a roof or furnace, fixing a plumbing problem or a broken porch, Torres said.
“It is a repair program to make the house habitable,” she said. “There has to be a problem.”
The program also helps trainees and apprentices find jobs. Under that provision, Community Action Partnership is looking to partner training and employment centers such as the Laurel Technical Institute, the New Castle School of Trades, CareerLink, or the Shenango Valley Urban League.
Torres said Community Action Partnership will work with people for on-the-job training and apprenticeships in an effort to get individuals interested in trade jobs.
The goal would be to assist trainees or apprentices with tuition or a stipend.
Torres said she will announce when the funds become available and when residents can start applying for grants.
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