Wolf Administration Approves Funding to Help Homeless Families and Promote Affordable Housing

Harrisburg, PA — Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced more than $5 million in funding to help homeless families and promote homelessness prevention across the commonwealth. The funding is provided from the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program.

This funding comes on the heels of a recent announcement that the Western Pennsylvania Continuum of Care (Western PA CoC) has effectively ended homelessness for veterans in 20 counties.

“The Wolf Administration is committed to ending homelessness across the commonwealth, and in order to achieve that mission, it’s all hands on deck, using all of the resources, funding, and tools at our disposal,” said Sec. Davin. “The funding made available through the ESG program is a critical asset that will impact individuals throughout Pennsylvania, providing a safe haven for those at risk and improving affected communities.”

The ESG funding falls into four categories: rapid rehousing, homelessness prevention, street outreach, and emergency shelter. Rapid rehousing helps individuals and families who are homeless, fleeing violence, or living in a home not suitable for human habitation. Homelessness prevention helps families who are currently housed but may be in jeopardy of losing their housing. Street outreach connects unsheltered homeless individuals with emergency shelter and/or health services. Emergency shelter funding supports costs associated with operating an emergency shelter and renovations.

The $5,473,378 in ESG funding was approved for:
• Beaver County $36,225
• Blair County $150,000
• Bradford County $142,449
• Bucks County $184,448
• Butler County $246,923
• CAP of Cambria County $177,601
• Center for Community Action $120,000
• Central Susquehanna Opportunities, Inc. $154,502
• City of Philadelphia $359,441
• City of Pittsburgh $250,000
• Clinton County $177,601
• Dauphin County $77,812
• Franklin County $200,000
• Indiana County $153,307
• Lawrence County* $1,592,780
• Lehigh County $309,507
• McKean County $196,341
• Monroe County $157,691
• Montgomery County $186,750
• Schuylkill County $200,000
• Transitions of PA $150,000
• Union-Snyder Community Action Agency $100,000
• Wayne County $150,000

NOTE: Lawrence County will distribute funding to a 16-county area, including Armstrong, Beaver, Blair, Butler, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clarion, Crawford, Delaware, Elk, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Venango, and Warren counties.

For more information, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

MEDIA CONTACT: Casey Smith, 717.783.1132

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US Interagency Council on Homelessness Approves Western PA CoC’s Claim Submission

The Western PA Continuum of Care (CoC) is proud to announce that the U.S. Inter-agency Council on Homelessness has approved the declaration that the Western CoC has effectively ended Veteran homelessness. This means that we have built a system that can quickly identify and house any Veteran experiencing homelessness within the CoC’s 20 County region (Warren, Forest, Crawford, Mercer, Lawrence, McKean, Potter, Cameron, Elk, Venango, Clarion, Jefferson, Clearfield, Butler, Armstrong, Indiana, Westmoreland, Fayette, Greene, and Washington). We know that we will continue to see Veterans in our community who are experiencing homelessness.

This declaration means that our community has come together to build a system that quickly identifies Veterans experiencing homelessness and assists these Veterans in being housed again. Our goal is that when Veterans experience homelessness that it will be 1) Rare 2) Brief 3) Occur one time (the same Veteran will not cycle back into homelessness again). This declaration is the culmination of four years of work by the Western CoC’s Veteran Committee. The committee, chaired by Lawrence County Community Action staff members Kathy Presnar and Missy Russell, and supported by Doug Tetrault, Sr. Associate from the Technical Assistance Collaborative, brought together key partners including: the U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs, the 5 VA Medical Centers serving the region, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, state agencies (Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Dept. of Community and Economic Development), Veteran services providers (Supportive Services for Veteran Families providers, Grant and Per Diem providers, VA-funded providers, local Veterans groups & foundations, etc.), homeless services providers, housing providers, community services providers and the Western PA CoC.

Being confirmed to have effectively ended homelessness among Veterans means our CoC have met the benchmarks outlined here and can now say the following:

o Whenever a Veteran experiences homelessness, we identify them quickly and house the Veteran in less than 90 days on average.

o We have identified Veterans experiencing chronic and long-term homelessness and have worked to house these Veterans.

o There are enough housing and service resources available in our community to assist any Veteran experiencing homelessness.

o We are providing long-term housing resources to Veterans and not relying on short-term housing interventions except when the Veteran needs specialized services.

The work to serve Veterans experiencing homelessness will never be “done”. This claim affirms that our CoC has built a solid system that can quickly and effectively end homelessness when a Veteran experiencing homelessness is identified.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Kathy Presnar (724-658-7258 x1213 kpresnar@lccap.org) or Missy Russell (724-658-7258 x1414 mrussell@lccap.org)

PHFA issues RFP for local groups to request funding for housing initiatives

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency today is issuing a Request for Proposals soliciting applications from organizations for projects to improve the availability and affordability of housing across the commonwealth. Funding for this RFP is being provided through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) Fund. The total PHARE funding available this year exceeds $54 million.

 

PHARE receives its funding from a number of sources. These include the impact fee levied on natural gas drilling companies, a portion of the Realty Transfer Tax, and money from the National Housing Trust Fund. Funding is available for housing initiatives in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. PHFA is charged with administering the allocation of PHARE dollars.

 

“Now in its seventh year, it’s been gratifying to see the many ways this funding has been put to work expanding affordable housing options across the state,” said Brian A. Hudson Sr., PHFA executive director and CEO. “We’re grateful to Governor Wolf and the General Assembly for their continued support of the PHARE program that lets us address local housing needs.”

 

PHARE applications can be completed entirely online, eliminating the need for paper submissions and simplifying the process for applicants. The RFP is located on PHFA’s website at www.phfa.org, and the application is accessible at https://phare.phfa.org/. Applications are due to PHFA no later than 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15.

PHFA is planning two informational webinars for groups interested in applying for PHARE funds. Both webinars will cover the same information. Webinar dates and times are:

Sept. 25 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Oct. 2 – 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

 

Interested groups are encouraged to watch the PHARE webpage for links to be posted for webinar registration. The PHARE webpage is available on the PHFA website at www.phfa.org; click on the PHARE link at the bottom of the page under “Resources.” Questions also may be directed to Bryce Maretzki at PHFA via email at bmaretzki@phfa.org or by phone at 717.780.1867.

 

The PHARE fund has been allocating money for local housing initiatives since 2012. These funds have resulted in significant benefits that include:

  • 6,137  individuals and families have received rental or utility assistance
  • 1,972 homes have been rehabilitated and preserved for continued use
  • 1,848 new rental units have been created
  • 147 new single-family homes have been constructed
  • 377 future home sites have been prepared through site acquisition and demolition
  • 182 homeowners are receiving purchase assistance
  • PHARE funds have been used to leverage an additional $564 million investment in housing in Pennsylvania

 

About PHFA

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency works to provide affordable homeownership and rental housing options for older adults, low- and moderate-income families, and people with special housing needs. Through its carefully managed mortgage programs and investments in multifamily housing developments, PHFA also promotes economic development across the state. Since its creation by the legislature in 1972, it has generated more than $14.3 billion of funding for more than 176,600 single-family home mortgage loans, helped fund the construction of 136,215 rental units, distributed more than $109.2 million to support local housing initiatives, and saved the homes of nearly 50,000 families from foreclosure. PHFA programs and operations are funded primarily by the sale of securities and from fees paid by program users, not by public tax dollars. The agency is governed by a 14-member board.

 

Media contact:

Scott Elliott

selliott@phfa.org

717-649-6522 (cell)