BLAIR COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) — Blair County Commissioners approved a resolution Thursday to begin a new program to provide more affordable housing to residents.

The Department of Social Services noticed recently how scarce housing for low and moderate-income families and individuals is becoming. On top of that, they’ve seen landlords get out of the business because of the little housing available.

“It’s gotten much more difficult as costs have gone up. A lot of landlords dropped because there’s been a scarcity of rental properties,” Commissioner Bruce Erb said. “We’ve seen rents rise, making it more difficult, and it’s a supply and demand condition. What we’re trying to do here is increase the supply to do something to address the demand.”

The program would use $150,000 from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to help funding with three separate projects. Executive Director of the Department of Social Service Jim Hudack said these projects could use up to $50,000 strictly do projects for affordable housing.

“These projects can be for the creation of new affordable housing units, acquisition of land to be able to do affordable housing. Or to repurposing existing structures to make affordable housing for the residents of Blair County.”

The goal of this program is to get more affordable housing offered to Blair County residents. Hudack said the county might fund more projects in future years if the program is successful.

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The program is set to be announced at the beginning of August. The county will submit the program proposal to different organizations, non-profits, contractors, and developers to submit their project proposals within 60 days for committee review.

“Ultimately, we’re going to be creating three projects that will allow residents to obtain some affordable housing either through ownership and or rental,” Hudack said. “If successful, I’m sure we would have consideration of doing this program in future years.”