Maureen Safko, Senior Planner | State College Borough | Borough of State College Planning Department
Residents of State College Borough that have lost income due to the COVID-19 coronavirus may be eligible for a grant to pay rent, mortgage and utility bills. The Sustain State College Program can help people to Stay Healthy and Stay Housed by providing eligible renter households with up to $1,200 per month for three consecutive months for rent and utility expenses. Eligible homeowners can receive up to $2,000 per month for mortgage payments and utility bills. Payments will be sent directly to the landlord, mortgage lenders and utility providers on behalf of eligible applicants that complete an application and are approved for assistance.
As COVID-19 coronavirus infection cases rise, many people are still experiencing a loss of income due to the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Some used savings for essential needs over the extended shut-down of their employment. As the weather turns colder, heating costs are rising and moratoriums that had protected people from evictions and utility shut-offs are set to expire. The Borough of State College wants to make these grants available to prevent homelessness and to maintain water and electricity service for residents to stay healthy in their homes.
If you, or someone you know, is a resident of State College Borough and needs help with rent, mortgage, and utility bills, please contact the borough’s Planning Department at 814-234-7100 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Details are also available at www.statecollegepa.us/3172/Sustain-State-College.
This program was first advertised on September 1, 2020 and will be available into 2021 as long as funding permits. Demand for assistance has been lighter than expected. There is consideration of possibly extending the three-month limit to six consecutive months.
In addition to financial assistance, professional mediation services are available to State College Borough residents through the Center for Alternatives in Community Justice at no charge to the tenant or the landlord. By calling (814)234-1059 a professional mediator can be available as a neutral party to work with you and your landlord to find solutions to prevent eviction. Case management services are also available at no charge to help with health and housing related needs by reaching out to Centre Helps, Inc. with a call or text to (814)237-5855.
Federal law requires that Borough staff take precautions to prevent fraud by verifying that program participants do not receive duplicate payments for their rent, mortgage or utilities from various sources during the same months. Such activity that some call “double dipping”, whether accidental or intentional, is guarded against through cooperative efforts for proper stewardship of public funds.