Butler, Greene, Lawrence and Mercer counties were also awarded money from the state for this program.By Amy Wadas

FAYETTE COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — More money will soon head to several Pennsylvania counties to help low-income homeowners with affordable housing.

Governor Tom Wolf made the announcement Thursday. The state has $7 million to give out, and Fayette County is getting $500,000. The Fayette County Redevelopment Authority expects to get the grant within the next 30 days and plans on beginning work immediately.

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KDKA’s Amy Wadas spoke with a couple who went through the program last year, and they say it was a dream come true.

“I needed a new roof and siding and new windows,” said Rose Vrabel.

The improvements were something Vrabel said she needed for a while but couldn’t afford. She’s lived in her New Salem home for three-and-a-half years with her boyfriend, Charles Barnhart.

“We would never have been able to do it ourselves. This place needed a lot of work,” said Barnhart.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

It included tearing down the condemned side of their house. The retired couple received money through the Home Investment Partnerships Program, which the county’s Redevelopment Authority distributed to homeowners in need.

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That same program is awarding money to 13 counties in Pennsylvania this year. Fayette is one of them and 15 owned and occupied homes will soon get the assistance.

“The funding goes towards existing homeowners to help make repairs to their homes to bring them up to code so they can remain in their homes and aren’t dislocated because the home is in disrepair or doesn’t meet current codes,” said Andrew French with the Fayette County Redevelopment Authority.

French said around 65 percent of homes in the county are over 50 years old. He said this new money will help homeowners make necessary repairs.

“They don’t owe anything as long as they maintain the home as a principal resident,” said French.

Vrabel and Barnhart don’t plan on leaving. They’re glad to see others in the community will get the help they need.

“I know there’s a lot of people that can’t afford to fix homes. They don’t have the money,” said Vrabel.

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Butler, Greene, Lawrence and Mercer counties were also awarded money from the state for this program.