About 11% of nearly $13 million in emergency rental and utility bill funds has been disbursed to Westmoreland County residents who experienced hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dan Carney, executive director of Union Mission of Latrobe, said about $1.5 million was directed to 270 applicants over the past three months. Another 45 are awaiting payment. The organization was tapped to manage the county’s portion of funds received under the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Carney said 592 applications have been received since the program opened in mid-April.
“We’ve got a really good distribution through the county,” he said.
To be eligible, households must have an income at or below 80% of the area median income and some type of financial hardship resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. The household must be either delinquent on rent and/or utility bills or have the inability to afford next month’s rent.
Union Mission was selected by the county commissioners to handle the funding. Carney said some parts of the county, such as the Mon Valley, New Kensington and Route 30 corridor, had higher needs than others — which was expected.
So far, applicants got an average of nine months of assistance worth $5,400.