Cumberland County using CARES Act funding to assist with cleaning, housing

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — People with low incomes are especially struggling through the pandemic. Now, the federal government is helping Pennsylvanians in public housing.

Cumberland County is getting $229,290 in the second round of funding from the CARES Act.

“Most of the monies will go towards ensuring the safety of our residents and the safety of our staff,” said Tim Whelan, executive director of the Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities.

That includes personal protective equipment for staff and cleaning supplies.

It’s welcome news to seniors living at Two West Penn apartments.

“That’s good. I’m glad they are trying to keep everybody safe. We need that,” said Gail Hensley.

Some money will also be used to incentivize new and existing landlords who participate in the housing choice voucher program, up to $700.

“This is a very important program to support families in our community to provide them housing and it’s very important that there be opportunities to support landlords,” Whelan said.

For those who still need help with rent, separate from this funding, there is the CARES Rent Relief Program.

“We were allocated $900,000 for that effort, so we are currently accepting applications,” Whelan said.

Cumberland County hasn’t had any cases of COVID exposure in its public housing complexes, but if it does happen, they are financially prepared.

“In those instances, these monies could be used to help cover the costs of those alternative housing arrangements while people are in quarantine or can be used for extra cleaning and sanitizing,” Whelan said.

Whether it’s spent now or held just in case, the money is providing safety and stability for families and staff.

Funding for all the counties in the Midstate totals more than $975,000.

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