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Luzerne County Council voted on Tuesday to use American Rescue Plan funding for the county’s Whole Home Repairs Program and heating assistance for lower income residents.

The Luzerne County Council agreed on Tuesday to use $5 million from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to fund two programs designed to help lower income residents. 

As reported by the Times Leader, the council earmarked $2.5 million for the Whole-Home Repairs and Heating and Utility Assistance Programs. 

Luzerne County already received $3.24 million in state funding for the Whole Home Repairs program and is expected to use that money to rehabilitate 112 homes, spending up to $24,999 on each home. Another 90 homeowners could be eligible for assistance with the $2.5 million in new funding from the American Rescue Plan. 

Demand for the Whole Home Repairs Program has been high across the state and Luzerne County was no exception. The county received more than 10 times the amount of applications than grants that can be distributed. 

Next year’s state funding for the Whole Home Repairs Program is currently in limbo. As reported by WHYY, the $50 million allocated for the program is among a list of programs that requires additional legislative approval, despite the passage of the state budget. 

The program received bipartisan support last year and it was funded with money through the American Rescue Plan. 

The money allocated to the Heating and Utility assistance program could help more than 7,000 residents in the country and provide $290 in assistance to each eligible homeowner and renter.