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Other CARES Act funding streams available in Warren County

The $3.5 million coming to Warren County isn’t the only CARES Act funding coming to the county.

Ronna Tipton, Forest-Warren Human Services administrator, told the county commissioners on Monday that the county was awarded $117,000 up to $356,000 in funding specifically for rent relief.

“This is a vital program for many of the folks we work with at Forest-Warren Human Services,” she said. “They have been hit hard by this pandemic, as unemployment has reached 17% overall in the county and so many people are finding it hard to make ends meet.”

Applications can’t technically be accepted until July 6.

“Someone has to have reduced income by 30 percent since March 1 or be collecting unemployment,” Tipton explained, in addition to average median income guidelines.

She said that raising awareness of the funding is important as this isn’t just for Human Services clients and is open to everyone.

She also explained that the funding can assist up to $750 per month and a total of $4,500 per household. According to a statement from the county, the funds will be issued directly to landlords or property owners.

Forest County was also awarded $5,500 up to $17,000.

“We will be getting the first payment this week,” Tipton said.

That payment will be the lower amount and she said they can request funds up to the maximum.

Information on the program is available at phfa.org/pacares and the application is available online at the county website – warrencopa.com – as well as in-person at the Human Services office on the State Hospital grounds, the Forest County Courthouse in Tionesta and Forest County Transportation in Marienville.

The county’s statement explains that potential applicants should read all program guidelines and frequently asked questions thoroughly to determine eligibility as there are numerous regulations including a minimum 30% loss in income, some period of COVID-related unemployment, and current annualized income of not more than the upper limit of “median income.”

Anyone with questions or to apply can email rentalrelief@wc-hs.org or call Human Services at 726-2100.

Small business funding

Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Monday that an additional stream of funding for small businesses – $225 million in grants form $5,000 to $50,000 – will be open for applications starting on Tuesday.

That funding, according to a statement from the governor’s office, is targeted “to offset lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown order.”

Applications for the first round of funding will be open for 10 days.

“Eligible businesses will be able to use the grants to cover operating expenses during the shutdown and transition to re-opening, and for technical assistance including training and guidance for business owners as they stabilize and relaunch their businesses,” the statement explained.

“(I) want to encourage businesses in Warren County to consider applying to that,” Commissioner Ben Kafferlin said during Monday’s work session, noting those funds would arrive faster than the funds awarded through the county’s CARES Act allocation. “People should move on that.”

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