Housing Authority Expanding Reach in Forest County; No Plans to Build New Section 8 Housing Sites

| March 12, 2019

CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – The Clarion County Housing Authority serves both Clarion and Forest Counties, and this year the organization is adding marketing efforts to reach out to more Forest County residents.

“Section 8 Housing (federally subsidized housing) in Forest County has not really increased,” said Penny Campbell, executive director of the Clarion County Housing,  “We typically help around 22 to 25 households a month. That seems to stay pretty steady.”

“What we have done is we want to reach more folks in that county, and we’ve instituted monthly office hours there in addition to Clarion.  We’ve only done that in January and February so far, and we’ll do it in March and April. We haven’t had a great reception, but it’s new. We’re going to give it several months before we decide not to go up there. We’re trying to be available more locally at least once a month, and we hope that will help.”

The Clarion County Housing Authority (CCHA) seeks to improve the quality of life for low to extremely low-income adults and their families, strives to provide affordable, safe, and sanitary homes in suitable living environments throughout Clarion and Forest Counties. In addition to Section 8 Housing, CCHA also has five rental housing sites in Clarion County. There are no current plans to construct similar housing sites in Forest County.

“We could send Forest County residents applications, they could complete them, and send them back,” continued Campbell.  “For the actual interview process, they had to come to our Clarion office. Now, we’re trying to be more direct, at least once a month. We do either Tionesta or Marienville in the morning and the opposite in the afternoon. We’ve tried to keep it consistent, and I hope it picks up once more people realize what we are doing.”

Campbell explained that Clarion County doesn’t have extra vouchers, but the authority did decide to start advertising to seek more applications.

“For a  big chunk of 2018, we weren’t letting anyone new into the program because of a funding hold,” said Campbell.

“At the end of 2018, our funding was renewed, and we were able to put new people on the waiting list as others moved up and we started advertising at the same time. What usually happens is people are on a waiting list a long time from six to 12 months and go through that waiting list pretty past.  It wasn’t necessarily that we got more funding or new funding, we were just able to move people up on the list and start advertising and have people apply.  It had been so long since we put people into the program that word of mouth was that we weren’t putting people into the program and they don’t apply.”

“Our waiting list is open, and we are taking applications. We always have a waiting list for Section 8, and we’re calling in people every month for the programming.”

The CCHA waiting list for all of its programs gives a preference for anyone that lives or works in Clarion or Forest Counties. “They move a little higher on the list than people from outside of the two counties.”

Below are the CCHA Owned Housing Communities:

Cherry Run Apartments 

24 Unit Elderly, Disabled, or Handicapped Apartment Complex in Rimersburg

Ebenburg Court Apartments

30 Unit Elderly, Disabled, or Handicapped Apartment Complex in Knox.

Hillside Apartments

64 Unit Family Townhouse Complex in Clarion.

Medardo Estates

20 Unit Family Townhouse Complex in Rimersburg

Penn Court Apartments

40 Unit Family Townhouse Complex in Clarion

For additional information, go to http://clarionhousing.comor call 814-226-8910.

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