Washington County Redevelopment Authority to rehab three homes

Katie Anderson
Observer Reporter

Three homes in Washington will be rehabilitated and sold to low-income families, thanks to a state grant awarded last week to the Washington County Redevelopment Authority.

The $283,500 grant was one of two awarded in Western Pennsylvania and is part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The other $2 million grant went to Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Brenda Williamson, community development director for Washington County’s redevelopment authority, said the grant money was part of the initial Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which began in 2008. That program awarded grants across the region in 2009 to promote affordable housing. Williamson said at that time, Washington received $1.5 million and used it all. She said the two grants just recently awarded represented a reallocation of leftover money from the initial grants that other municipalities didn’t use.

“So we applied and we got what we asked for,” said William McGowen, executive director of the Washington County Redevelopment Authority. “Only two locations in Pennsylvania were funded, and Washington County was one of them.”

Williamson said the authority will now work to identify three single-family homes within the city of Washington to acquire, rehabilitate and sell. The buyers must be income-eligible, earning less than 120 percent of the area median income. One of the homes must be sold to a buyer with less than 50 percent of the median area income, according to a news release from Gov. Tom Wolf’s office.

The buyers will receive mortgage assistance, Williamson said, and must complete eight hours of home-buyer counseling through Blueprints.

In his news release, Wolf said the grants in Washington and Pittsburgh will make 38 homes available to low-income families.

“Access to affordable housing is one of the biggest issues facing individuals and families with low incomes,” Wolf said in the release. “It’s an important step to ensure our residents have a high quality of life.”