TANNERSVILLE, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Four organizations have received significant state grants to help solve Monroe County’s housing crisis. The $305,000 will fund several affordable housing initiatives.
Pocono Mountains United Way in Stroudsburg received $60,000 to bolster its rental assistance program “for people who live in Monroe County that through various situations are struggling to afford a place to live,” according to Pocono Mountains United Way senior director of community impact Sarah Jacobi.
The program helps people pay their rent. It’s typically a one-time assistance.
“Rent compared to what people earn in Monroe County is actually quite high and we’re finding that not only for renters but also for homeowners, we have one of the highest foreclosure rates in the state,” Jacobi said.
Integra Home Counseling in Tannersville also received funding; $70,000 worth. This organization is the only HUD-approved housing counseling agency in northeastern Pennsylvania.
“Monroe County as well as throughout the state has a very drastic level of shortage of affordable housing,” Integra Home Counseling executive director Linda Gerkensmeyer said.
The state grant will help Integra acquire five houses for its community land trust initiative.
“We help keep housing affordable so that we help to share equity with the people going into the home,” Gerkensmeyer said.
Homes can be renovated for shared housing situations.
“We can have multiple households in a building so that the house is more effectively used and the cost is lowered,” Gerkensmeyer said.
The Redevelopment Authority of Monroe County received $100,000 and Family Promise of Monroe County received $75,000.