FARRELL, Pa. (WKBN) — The Farrell Housing program broke ground on the final phase of The Home Program. First News met the Farrell Native who came back to her hometown to make this all possible.
Donna Pyles is the owner of DC Construction, a company based out of North Carolina. Farrell city officials introduced her as the new builder to build the last two houses of the housing program grant at their groundbreaking ceremony.
The grant started in 2015 and since then six houses have been built in the city.
“These houses greatly impact the standard of living for the citizens of Farrell, residents of Farrell and stabilize the neighborhood and city which is critical for us,” said city manager Ben Prescott.
Pyles grew up in Farrell and said she is grateful for the city that raised her. After decades of decline in the Steel Mill industry, she knew she could help reform her hometown.
“I saw the vision and saw I could actually do it and be successful at it,” said Pyles.
Pyles plans to be the driving force to lead the building of the last two houses.
A groundbreaking was held for the house being built on Bond Street and Fruit Avenue. The aim is to move rental homeowners to true homeowners that help create neighborhood stabilization.
“These are now 100-foot lots for houses that give them a little bit more room, and new housing which is important,” said Prescott.
The hope is to increase tax base and raise property value to bring more jobs and people to the community. This is a two-part program where the applicant has to qualify for the mortgage but they are able to afford the house at a lower price.
“Our goal is to always provide a home that is safe, that is cost-effective, meaning that the people who move into it can truly afford it. I don’t believe in people being home poor,” said Pyles.
City officials said these home programs are crucial in maintaining and developing the city as it continues to recover from steel mill times.
“They have a home now that they can call their own. They’re not likely to move. They’re not transient anymore. They’re staying here,” said Prescott.
Leaders with the city of Farrell said it’s important to have people like Donna, who has come back and taken an interest in helping her community.
The last two houses are planned to be finished by springtime of 2023.