CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A year-long study on affordable and attainable housing in Patton Township has led to a four-part action plan. Three of the four recommendations have been unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors.
The supervisors heard a presentation from the Patton Township Housing Task Force on their study and took public input, prior to voting.
The task force’s study revealed a missing element to housing in Patton Township: those who work in the township, such as health care workers, retail workers, and young professionals, cannot always afford to live in the township. Additionally, in Centre County as a whole, there is a greater need for affordable housing than what is available.
The approved recommendations include:
- Designate “Attainable Housing” as a Patton Township (PT) Work Priority and Community Focus for 2022.
- Encourage County and Region-wide Housing Efforts and Deepen Collaboration with Housing Organizations and Regional Housing Service Providers.
- Direct the Planning Commission (PC) to bring to the Board recommendations of planning and zoning approaches that support Attainable Housing and that the Board refer the following Task Force recommendations to the PC for their consideration in that task:
- Add definitions to the Township’s existing zoning code for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), Elder Cottage Housing Opportunities (ECHO) and Duplexes.
- Develop regulations permitting Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), Elder Cottage Housing Opportunities and Duplexes.
- Revise minimum parking requirements per use in various zoning districts
- Develop incentivized and inclusionary zoning regulations.
- Amend the MXD2 zoning district by removing the 20-acre size limitation to allow smaller C2 properties the option of using it for redevelopment.
The fourth recommendation was the following:
- Designate about 10 percent of the Township’s $1.654 million in American Rescue Plan monies to fund three housing proposals, specifically:
- $50,000 plus administrative costs for a First Time Homebuyers Fund designated for PT residents and administered by the Centre County Housing and Land Trust (CCHLT).
- $50,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County designated for PT.
- $50,000 to the CCHLT to support future land purchases in PT and support a Residential Rental Survey to benefit potential renters and landlords.
While the board verbally supported the funding, they did not approve as the federal government hasn’t clarified all qualification rules for the American Rescue Plan funding. The item is on hold until the board receives clarification.