Wednesday, December 17, 2008

PA Fayette More Housing in the Works

Though we've been boycotting the Uniontown Herald-Standard since the elections, (the editorial board embraced and supported quite a few incumbent PA state legislators who sponsored or voted for the unfair Keystone Opportunity Zones), we'll make this exception unless we find the material elsewhere.

Can you believe it? More federal and state grant monies for more housing developments which are to be built for whom to purchase? Low-incomers? People who can't afford to purchase a home in the free-market? But hey, with a little more help from the taxpayers, and the federal HOME program, people who otherwise would not be able to afford a pricey new home will be able to do so?

Have these people not seen what has already happened to the free market system which just a month ago needed a financial rescue from the federal government to the tune of a near trillion dollars? (And more bailouts are apparently to follow?

Should any one of the board of commissioners vote for receiving any more grant monies for the Federal HOME program, he/she will obviously have not learned the historical lessons.

The county agencies in on this deal have already received some over 1 million to jumpstart housing units for low-incomers, but it's simply never enough, never. Now they have the nerve and sob stories to want more grants from the government - monies which the state government doesn't have, nor does the federal government. Local government has no surplus either, and the city of Uniontown is bankrupt.

While the housing program for handicapped persons sounds like a charitable one, none of our government entities were founded to become a charity. Let's just build more housing units, apartments, for those in need because these people are needy, and by doing so, simply ignore how all of this government 'taxpayers' money impacts the you-know-the-word rest of the 'housing' rental industry.

What do proponents ignore? Every dollar taken from the taxpayers to support something the private sector can do more efficiently and effectively is less dollars in taxpayers' wallets to wisely spend.

The government does not care a hoot whether these programs are efficient or effective. It can always tap the taxpayers more and hide taxes in the form of grants and tax credits and in a growing number of cases fees built into other public services such as the cost of producing a simple paper copy of a county budget or a city resolution for citizens requesting such.

Take the housing rehabilitation program for low-incomers. Who are considered low-income home-owners nowadays? A family of 4 making over $50,000? Will they be among the potential 45 who are helped with the program?

So there's some $500,000 to be split among (easy math) 50 owners to rehabilite existing houses that's some $10,000 apiece. Seriously now, that is quite a good bit of money but $10,000 doesn't cover even half the cost of replacing a crumpling roof. But still, watch as people line up for the free grant money.

As for the booking center, we can't fault the city police department for wanting to participate in a program funded by the state for an activity that must be done, and centrally seems a better route than 45 different and separate municipalities. Plus, this is a service well within the duties of a police agency.

However, we do criticize use of the city police department when an off-site location which would be better suited to through traffic than the city of Uniontown.
Net the Truth Online

clip excerpt

Commissioners to vote on criminal booking center
By Amy Revak, Herald-Standard

The commissioners also voted to place on Thursday's agenda motions to approve submission of two separate applications to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development HOME Investment Partnerships Program for a $500,000 grant for a county homeowner rehabilitation program and for a $500,000 grant for a permanent supporting housing development.

Andrew French, executive director of the Fayette County Redevelopment Authority, said the rehabilitation grant funding would be used to give loans to low-income homeowners to rehabilitate their properties and 45 additional families could be helped.

Tammy Knouse of Fayette County Community Action Agency said the permanent housing development would be built in North Union Township near the old state police barracks off Connellsville Street. She said the project includes constructing 10 one-bedroom unit apartments for people with disabilities. She said $600,000 has been received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and $500,000 has been received from the Fayette County Mental Health/Mental Retardation Agency for the project.

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