L&I Launches Redesigned PA CareerLink® Website to Help Pennsylvanians Find Work

Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Labor & Industry Secretary is launching a redesigned PA CareerLink® website today that makes it easier than ever for Pennsylvania workers, employers and workforce development groups to connect to vital job search and career development tools.
“L&I is focused on training Pennsylvanian workers for the new economy emerging in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” said Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “To accomplish this, we’re modernizing and upgrading our job search and reskilling programs. We began with redesigning the PA CareerLink® website to be more user friendly for users, which is important because even before the pandemic, the job search and application process has moved almost entirely online for most businesses.”
The redesigned PA CareerLink® website focuses on accessibility and features an enhanced candidate sourcing and application process, which will simplify the hiring process for jobseekers and employers alike. It also makes other key resources more easily accessible, including links to the search pages for trainings, apprenticeships, and internships, as well as adult education resources, the Employment, Advancement and Retention Network (EARN), and benefits through PA Compass.
Secretary Oleksiak also reminded everyone about the valuable free services that PA CareerLink® provides to help workers access job search and training assistance, and help employers find the skilled workers they need to succeed.
“Virtual PA CareerLink® services have been provided continuously for job seekers and employers, including adult education classes, career counseling, and on-the-job training programs,” said Secretary Oleksiak. “Most PA CareerLinks® have begun taking limited in-person appointments as well. I encourage everyone to use the valuable free services that they provide.”
To schedule an appointment for limited on-site services, please contact your local PA CareerLink® office. Find your county’s contact information by visiting www.pacareerlink.pa.gov.
To protect the health and safety of customers and staff and to continue following COVID-19 social distancing and mitigation recommendations, UC courtesy telephones will not be available in PA CareerLink® offices until further notice.
Launched in July 2012, PA CareerLink® is part of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s initiative to transform the landscape of how job seekers find family sustaining jobs and how employers find the skilled candidates that they need, by serving as a one-stop shop for many related services.
For more information, including COVID-19 employment opportunities in the commonwealth, visit www.pacareerlink.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah DeSantis, dlipress@pa.gov
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CDC Eviction Moratorium Declaration Form Available in Multiple Languages

Versions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction moratorium “declaration” form in nine languages is currently available on NLIHC’s National Moratorium webpage. Tenants must provide a declaration to their landlord to avoid being evicted for being unable to pay the rent. The moratorium expires on December 31, 2020. Please share the translations of the declaration form widely so that as many people as possible can be protected from eviction. Check NLIHC’s National Moratorium webpage periodically, as additional languages might be added.

Read more of this article here.

PHFA accepting bids for purchase of Mixed-Use Development Tax Credits

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency announced today that it is accepting bids for the purchase of $3 million in Mixed-Use Development Tax Credits. The funds collected from successful bidders will be used for the construction or rehabilitation of mixed-use developments in Pennsylvania communities.  The deadline for bids is 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30.


These tax credits will be used by the winning bidders – which can be companies, organizations or individuals – to reduce their state tax liability. The intent of the bidding process is to raise as much funding as possible from the $3 million in tax credits being made available to provide for a significant investment in community revitalization projects in various communities. The projects to receive this funding will be selected during a competitive Request for Proposals process later this year.


This new tax credit program was created as part of the Commonwealth’s fiscal year 2016/2017 budget (implemented July 1, 2017), and PHFA was directed to administer the credit. PHFA was authorized to sell these tax credits through directed or negotiated sale to any qualified taxpayer. It is expected that the tax credit awards will be made within 90 days after bidding closes.  The credit awards will be made in 2020, but they are not effective for utilization until 2021 against a 2020 tax liability.


“Tax credit programs have proven their value by drawing on the strengths of both the public and private sectors and leveraging those strengths,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Robin Wiessmann. “During the last two years, we have used the funding provided by this tax credit program to support the construction of mixed-use developments that have benefited local communities. Those projects would not have happened without the investment made possible by these tax credits.”


More information about the Mixed-Use Development Tax Credit and the current bidding process is available on the PHFA website at: www.phfa.org/mhp/developers/loans.aspx (scroll down).  Program guidelines and bid criteria are posted there. Interested organizations can learn more by contacting Bryce Maretzki at PHFA at (717) 780-1867 or by email at bmaretzki@phfa.org.


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 $14.8 billion of funding for more than 179,850 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 more than 50,300 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

717-649-6522 (cell)


PHARE RFP Now Available

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 $41 million.
PHARE receives its funding from a number of sources. These include the impact fee levied on natural gas drilling companies and a portion of the Realty Transfer Tax. Funding is available for housing initiatives in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. PHFA is charged with administering the allocation of PHARE dollars.
“The PHARE program has been providing much needed funding for local housing initiatives for the past eight years,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Robin Wiessmann. “It is today more clear than ever that affordable housing is critical for people to be successful in life, and PHARE has proven to be a tremendous tool for helping counties improve their housing resources for local residents.”
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. 20, 2020.
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 September 23 at 10 am and September 29 at 1pm. 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: https://phare.phfa.org/. Questions also may be directed to Bryce Maretzki at PHFA via email at bmaretzki@phfa.org.
The PHARE fund has been allocating money for local housing initiatives since 2012. These funds have resulted in significant benefits that include:
  • More than 7,000 individuals and families have received rental or utility assistance
  • Over 2,000 homes have been rehabilitated and preserved for continued use
  • More than 2,500 new rental units have been created
  • 175 new single-family homes have been constructed
  • 400 future home sites have been prepared through site acquisition and demolition
  • Over 200 new residents have received assistance to purchase their first home
  • PHARE funds have been used to leverage an additional $700 million investment in housing in Pennsylvania​
__________________________________ Clay Lambert Business Policy Officer II Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency www.phfa.org


This NOFA is offering preference points for Opportunity Zones or Promise Zones. Of the more than $275 million, Approximately $38 million of the amount listed is available for the Healthy Homes Supplemental funding and is available only to applicants who are awarded an LHR grant. HUD expects to make approximately 70 awards from the funds available under this NOFA. For more info about the Lead Hazard Reduction grant program, click here.

WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENTS: HUD’s OLHCHH will be presenting an interactive Webinar on Wednesday, August 5 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The Webinar will provide an overview of the HUD FY2020 Lead Hazard Reduction NOFA and general information on the application process to potential applicants. There will be a Questions and Answers segment. To register for the 2020 Lead Hazard Reduction NOFA Webinar, click here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

A second interactive Webinar covering the 2020 Healthy Homes Production for Tribal Housing NOFA will be hosted on Thursday, August 6 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. To register for this Webinar which will also include a Questions and Answers segment, click here.

For all questions pertaining to these NOFAs and Webinars, please contact Yolanda.Brown@hud.gov.

Although lead-based paint was banned for residential use in 1978, HUD estimates that about 24 million homes built before then still have significant lead-based paint hazards today. Lead-contaminated dust is the primary cause of lead exposure and can lead to a variety of health problems in young children, including reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, and impaired hearing. At higher levels, lead can damage a child’s kidneys and central nervous system and cause anemia, coma, convulsions and even death.

We are very excited about this opportunity to expand our efforts to create lead safe and healthy homes in your community. We encourage you to apply.

Wolf Administration Awards Nearly $19 Million for Homelessness Assistance and Prevention

Harrisburg, PA — Today, Gov. Tom Wolf announced nearly $19 million in funding awards to assist in mitigating the impacts of the coronavirus on homeless families and individuals and to prevent future homelessness across the commonwealth.
The Wolf Administration, through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), is awarding the first of two allocations of Emergency Solutions Grant CARES Act (ESG-CV) funding provided through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act supplemental appropriation.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected housing opportunities, safety, and reliability for thousands of Pennsylvanians. As we begin to recover our economy, we must also ensure that our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians and those at greatest risk of losing their homes and housing stability are able to recover as well,” Gov. Wolf said. “Our homeless providers and partners are working tirelessly in their communities to end and prevent homelessness, and these distributions will drive direct support and assistance to counties in need across the state.”
The CARES Act provided for two allocations of homeless assistance funds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or receiving homeless assistance and to support additional homeless assistance and homelessness prevention activities to mitigate the impacts created by coronavirus. Sixty-three percent of funds awarded are targeted to address homelessness prevention, 22 percent to rapidly house those who are homeless and 8.4 percent to provide emergency shelter services and street outreach. The balance of funds awarded address data collection and administration needs.
A total of $18,973,829 in ESG-CV funding was approved for the following recipients representing awards in 52 counties:
Adams County Commissioners – $340,732
Armstrong County Commissioners – $457,515
Beaver County Commissioners – $49,820
Berks County Commissioners – $300,000
Blair County Community Action Program* – $1,385,373
Bucks County Commissioners – $996,400
Butler County Commissioners – $1,546,519
Center for Community Action* – $312,700
Central Susquehanna Opportunities* – $566,424
Centre County Commissioners – $341,549
Chester County Department of Community Development – $498,200
Clinton County Housing Coalition* – $192,565
Community Action Partnership of Cambria County* – $318,678
Cumberland County Commissioners* – $79,500
Dauphin County Commissioners – $628,633
Domestic Violence Services of SWPA* – $403,711
Franklin County Commissioners – $480,526
Indiana County Commissioners – $99,640
Lawrence County Social Services* – $3,355,362
Lehigh County Commissioners – $305,004
McKean County Commissioners – $150,148
Mercer County Commissioners – $351,477
Monroe County Commissioners* – $381,761
Montgomery County Commissioners – $498,200
Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services – $4,176,301
Schuylkill County Commissioners – $448,335
Union-Snyder Community Action Agency* – $131,440
Wayne County Commissioners – $177,316
*Asterisks note a regional grant.
Blair County Community Action Program will distribute funding to Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, and Somerset counties.
Center for Community Action will distribute funding to Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, Mifflin, and Juniata counties.
Central Susquehanna Opportunities will distribute funding to Columbia, Montour, and Northumberland counties.
Clinton County Housing Coalition will distribute funding to Clinton, Lycoming, and Tioga counties.
Community Action Partnership of Cambria County will distribute funding to Cambria and Somerset counties.
Cumberland County Commissioners will distribute funding to Cumberland and Perry counties.
Domestic Violence Services of SWPA will distribute funding to Fayette, Greene, and Washington counties.
Lawrence County Social Services will distribute funding to Beaver, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clarion, Elk, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Potter, Venango, and Warren counties.
Monroe County Commissioners will distribute funding to Monroe and Pike counties.
Union-Snyder Community Action Agency will distribute funding to Union and Snyder counties.
Applications were accepted from general-purpose units of local government, including cities, boroughs, townships, towns, counties, home rule municipalities, and communities that desire to apply “on behalf of” other municipalities. Local governments may apply “on behalf of” nonprofit organizations. Non-profit organizations can apply only for a regional project as long as it demonstrates a regional need and would serve multiple counties.
To learn more about the ESG-CV funding, click here.

HUD TA Resource – Landlord Engagement

Private market landlords, property managers, owners, and public housing authorities are responding to the same conditions impacting housing crisis response systems nationwide. As everyone faces new or changing conditions and uncertain futures, Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) recipients in partnership with Continuums of Care (CoCs) should prioritize working with landlords and property owners to house people experiencing homelessness. A proactive, affirmative landlord engagement system is one of the most efficient means of increasing the supply of available rental units in your community.
The Landlord Engagement: Reset your community’s critical partnerships document details how to start a landlord engagement system, keys to a dedicated organization(s) which can manage the system, and communication, recruitment, and retention planning and action steps.
ESG and CoC providers should also work within their organizations to improve landlord engagement in the time of COVID-19. This document highlights tips for building and sustaining relationships with landlords, and includes actions and examples for how to incentivize landlord participation in housing programs, perform contactless lease ups, and provide consistent services.
These documents should be utilized by providers and community leaders to build top down consistency across housing programs and their interactions with landlords. They include numerous links to existing tools and examples from other communities to improve and invest in landlord engagement. For more landlord engagement resources, including a spotlight on Miami-Dade County, please view this page.

Wolf Administration: More Than $5 Million (ESG FY20) in Funding for Homelessness Assistance, Promoting Affordable Housing

Harrisburg, PA — Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced more than $5 million in funding is available for assisting homeless families in finding housing and combatting homelessness across the commonwealth. The funding is provided through the federal Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program.
“The Wolf Administration is committed to combatting homelessness and providing reliable, safe, and affordable housing options to residents across Pennsylvania, and the ESG funding plays a major role in this effort,” said Sec. Davin. “This funding provides critical and necessary resources and assistance to communities striving to find resolution for homeless residents and support homelessness prevention programs.”
The 2020 ESG funding eligibility falls into six categories: rapid rehousing, homelessness prevention, street outreach, emergency shelter, homeless management information systems (HMIS), and administration. Rapid rehousing helps individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness, fleeing violence, or living in a home not suitable for human habitation to swiftly move to stable housing. Homelessness prevention resources help families or individuals who are currently housed but may be in jeopardy of losing their homes with rental assistance and case management resources. Street outreach connects unsheltered homeless individuals with emergency shelter and/or health services. Emergency shelter funding supports costs associated with essential services, operating expenses, and renovations necessary to provide emergency shelter.
It is authorized by McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as amended by the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009.
Priority for funding is given to applicants representing areas of the commonwealth that do not already receive a direct allocation of Emergency Solutions Grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
A total of $5,480,359 in ESG funding was approved for the following counties:
Allegheny County – $176,375
Armstrong County – $191,938
Beaver County – $31,125
Blair County – $282,589
Bucks County – $114,125
Butler County – $60,383
CAP of Cambria* – $166,000
Carbon County – $55,000
Center for Community Action* – $153,550
Central Susquehanna Opportunity* – $321,781
Clinton County* – $302,950
Cumberland County – $128,650
Dauphin County – $103,750
Franklin County – $176,375
Indiana County – $105,618
Lawrence County* – $1,720,417
Lehigh County* – $207,500
McKean County – $180,525
Mercer County – $150,438
Monroe County* – $295,688
Montgomery County – $119,313
Schuylkill County – $268,713
Union-Snyder Community Action Agency* – $66,400
Wayne County – $101,156
Asterisks note a regional grant.
CAP of Cambria will distribute funding to Blair and Cambria counties.
Center for Community Action will distribute funding to Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, Mifflin, and Juniata counties.
Central Susquehanna Opportunities will distribute funding to Columbia, Montour, and Northumberland counties.
Clinton County will distribute funding to Bradford, Clinton and Lycoming counties.
Lawrence County will distribute funding to a 20-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.
Lehigh County will distribute funding to Lehigh and Northampton counties.
Monroe County will distribute funding to Monroe and Pike counties.
Union-Snyder CAA will distribute funding to Union and Snyder counties.
For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Casey Smith, DCED, casesmith@pa.gov

Emergency Solutions Grant – CARES Act (ESG-CV)

The Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), has received notice of the award of the first allocation of Emergency Solutions Grant program funds appropriated under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) – ESG-CV funds. DCED will administer an appropriation of $19,920,655 based on the HUD federal fiscal year 2020 formula distribution.

DCED’s priority for the use of these ESG funds will be to assist homeless providers and communities prepare for, prevent the spread of and respond to the coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or receiving homeless assistance and to support additional homeless assistance and homelessness prevention activities to mitigate the impacts created by coronavirus. DCED will award ESG CARES funding to support applicants who will work to end or prevent homelessness quickly and as efficiently as possible for all vulnerable populations.

The Emergency Solutions Grant – CARES (ESG-CV) Application and Guidelines are available for review at https://dced.pa.gov/programs/emergency-solutions-grant-cares-act-esg-cv/.

Important Dates and Deadlines:

Electronic Single Application (ESA) – opens today, April 23, 2020, and will close at 4:00pm on Monday, June 1, 2020. No application submitted after this time will be considered for funding. Competitive applications for funding will only be accepted through the DCED Electronic Single Application. All required addenda must be submitted with the application through ESA.

Please contact Stacy Hawthorne at shawthorne@pa.gov if you need assistance.

HMIS Upgrade Updates

Dear HMIS and CoC Partners,

I know so many of you are and have been working diligently over the last several weeks in direct response to urgent and emerging needs in our homeless communities surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic and your local response. Thank you for all you are doing in the field – I pray that you remain healthy and safe while you are actively working to serve our most vulnerable in PA.

I want to provide you with a short update on where DCED and our partners at Eccovia/ClientTrack are in the upgrade and transition to the new HMIS-ClientTrack.19 to meet HUD’s required coordinated entry data standards. As many of you are likely aware, as a result of the current situation, HUD has extended the deadline for the CES transition from April 1, 2020 to October 1, 2020. While this offered a small amount of breathing room in our upgrade, it has not slowed the activity we are undertaking with Eccovia, because we know how critical some of these upgrades will be to your continued success in utilizing the system locally and becoming confident with the new screens and tools available.

At this time, the tentative plan is to upgrade ClientTrack on or about May 1, 2020. We will be working with our team and CES managers to finalize the HMIS Security Protocols, participate in administrator training at the DCED level and begin a “Train the Trainer” series that will end with direct service providers who use ClientTrack to receive training before the launch.

We are coordinating with Eccovia to provide training dates in mid-late April. Please know that we are mindful of the fluid situation that many of our users are experiencing in the field and we will do our best to be sensitive to that during the training period.

During this extended implementation time-period we have also extended the ability of our ESG subgrantees to submit invoices in HMIS. We will provide notification to subgrantees when the processing of ESG invoices in HMIS will need to be suspended as a result of the upgrade.

Our team is reviewing these timetables weekly and will be sure to keep you informed as we move forward.

Thank you again for your amazing support and for all that you are doing in our communities every day.

All my best to you for continued health and safety.

Kathy Possinger