Community Development

Community Development means a wide range of activities, in Venango County -- from street paving, sidewalk reconstruction, and ADA-compliant building improvements to home rehabilitation grants for low- and moderate-income county homeowners, public infrastructure improvements, and blight removal.

These initiatives are primarily funded through State and Federal grants, such as the state-funded PHARE grant, and federal HUD-funded programs, such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships programs.

Community Development initiatives are administered out of the Venango County Regional Planning Commission office, on the first floor of the Venango County Courthouse, at 1168 Liberty Street, Franklin, Pa., 16323.

COVID-19 Rent/Mortgage/Utility Assistance Program

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which created the CDBG-CV Program, the County of Venango, Sugarcreek Borough, and Cranberry Township are offering three months of financial relief from rent, mortgage, and utility payments to low- to moderate-income residents. This program is available for all county residents, outside the cities of Franklin and Oil City. For programs offered by Franklin and Oil City, please contact the appropriate administrative offices.

This program is designed to provide assistance to residents who have lost income as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Low to moderate income is defined as households earning 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI). This is based on gross income from all sources. 

The Venango County Housing Rehabilitation Program

The Venango County Regional Planning Commission administers the Housing Rehabilitation Program. The Program funding is grant-based (as opposed to loans, which need paid back), and is therefore 100% free of cost to eligible applicant homeowners. See below Repair/Replacement Standards for what types of work this program covers.

The primary objective of this program is to ensure a safer, healthier, and less stressful life for the County's homeowners, and to avoid any deferred maintenance that can often put a home on the path to becoming blighted. This program is also a response to a 2009 housing market analysis produced by czbLLC, which called for initiatives to stabilize the county's market, in part, by rehabilitating at-risk homes. See below to read the study.

Eligibility is based on total household income (all household members, age 18 and up). Income-eligibility standards are based on the current year's HUD Income Limits. Eligible applicants must own and live in the home for which they are applying for rehabilitation assistance.

Some documents that will be required during the application phase include: Deed to home, most recent six months' bank statements, most recent three months' pay stubs (or other third-party payment statement, such as Social Security Benefits Statement), receipts showing local municipal/school taxes are paid to current, photo ID & Social Security cards (scanned copies to be held on file), homeowners insurance declaration page, and asset statements (when necessary).

To apply, click on the application document, below, relevant to where in Venango County you live.