Office of Economic and Community Development

City of Wilkes-Barre


The Office of Community Development is in charge of the funding and operation of the following programs within the City:

1. Community Development Block Grant Program

The program provides annual grants on a formula basis to entitled cities and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low and moderate income persons.

CDBG funds may be used for activities which include, but are not limited to:

– acquisition of real property

– relocation and demolition

– rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures

– construction of public facilities and improvements, such as water and sewer facilities, streets, neighborhood centers, and the – – conversion of school buildings for eligible purposes

– public services within certain limits

– activities relating to energy conservation and renewable energy resources

– provision of assistance to profit-motivated businesses to carry out economic development and job creation/retention       activities

2. Emergency Solutions


Components of Emergency Solutions Grant include:

  • Street Outreach: Funds may cover costs related to essential services for unsheltered persons (including emergency health or mental health care, engagement, and services for special populations).
  • Emergency Shelter: Funds may be used for renovation of emergency shelter facilities and the operation of those facilities, as well as services for the residents (including case management, child care, education, employment assistance and job training, legal, mental health, substance abuse treatment, transportation, and services for special populations).
  • Homelessness Prevention and rapid Re-Housing: Both components fund housing relocation and stabilization services (including rental application fees, security deposits, utility deposits or payments, last month’s rent and housing search and placement activities). Funds may also be used for short-or medium-term rental assistance for those who are at-risk of becoming homeless or transitioning to stable housing.
  • HMIS: Funds may be used to pay the costs for contributing data to the HMIS designated by the Continuum of Care for the area. Eligible activities include (computer hardware, software, or equipment, technical support, office space, salaries of operators, staff training costs, and participation fees).


3. Home Investment Partnership Program

Participating jurisdictions may choose among a broad range of eligible activities, using funds (referred to as HOME funds) to provide home purchase or rehabilitation financing assistance to eligible homeowners and new homebuyers; build or rehabilitate housing for rent or ownership; or for other reasonable and necessary expenses related to the development of non-luxury housing, including site acquisition or improvement, demolition of dilapidated housing to make way for HOME-assisted development, and payment or relocation expenses.


Kurt Sauer

Director of OCD

Ken Drevitch

Rehab Specialist

Nicholas Cave

Program Manager

Joe Rodano

Environmental Review Officer