Jun. 12, 2023

HARRISBURG – Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Butler/Lawrence) today announced the awarding of $800,000 to Butler and Lawrence counties through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Program (PHARE) to help with homelessness, household modifications and safety challenges.

“Rehabilitating existing properties to meet current market demands is an excellent way to invest our resources,” said Bernstine. “Renovating existing properties has some important benefits. You don’t need as many materials, can make good use of existing structures and usually spend less money. In addition, one of the most efficient ways to make money in real estate is to rehabilitate existing properties.”

The funding will be distributed as follows:

Housing Opportunities of Beaver County Inc. - $100,000 to increase the scope and quality of existing programs to offer increased housing and counseling services to residents. The services include homebuyers and homeowners in pre- and post-purchase counseling, mortgage delinquency and financial counseling.
Lawrence County Department of Planning and Community Development - $300,000 to implement a successful countywide blight removal program.
Redevelopment Authority of Lawrence County - $150,000 to implement the countywide blight removal program by collaborating with other funders and stakeholders to identify targeted tipping-point neighborhoods, prioritizing property maintenance to eliminate blight, completing housing rehabilitation in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and assisting businesses with funds for façade improvements.
The County of Butler - $250,000 to continue the Butler County Acquisition and Rehabilitation Program (BAR), administered by the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Butler. The BAR Program seeks out properties in the community that are in foreclosure, abandoned, have been on the market for an extended time or blighted to be purchased. The acquired property will be rehabilitated into an affordable rental unit or demolished.

The PHARE grant for Butler and Lawrence counties was approved by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, which administers the program. Money comes into PHARE from three sources: Marcellus Shale impact fees, realty transfer taxes and the National Housing Trust Fund.

Representative Aaron Bernstine
8th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)