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)

selliott@PHFA.org

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

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

PA Department of Human Services Study Finds Positives Effects for Medicaid Recipients with Housing Support

Harrisburg, PA Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller announced the findings of a study on the effects of permanent supportive housing programs on long-term health and health care spending among Medicaid recipients experiencing homelessness. The study, conducted in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Medicaid Research Center, looked at nearly 5,900 cases from 54 Pennsylvania counties who received permanent supportive housing services from 2011-2016 and found that people who experienced homelessness saw improving health outcomes and decreased Medicaid utilization and spending after receiving permanent supportive housing services.
“We know that a person’s health is more than what happens inside of a doctor’s office,” said Sec. Miller. “These environmental factors, known as social determinants of health, play a key role and can take many forms, including safe and affordable housing. We are always looking for ways to help people experiencing homelessness improve their health and overall quality of life. This report gives us an initial set of data to work with to achieve those goals.”
DHS is committed to supporting vulnerable Pennsylvanians like those who experience homelessness. By identifying positive trends in health outcomes and health care spending among people who received permanent supportive services, DHS can make data-driven, evidence-based decisions to broaden investments in programs and positive interventions that can help people experiencing homelessness long-term.
Low-income individuals with physical and behavioral health conditions have an elevated risk of homelessness. Permanent supportive housing programs provide long-term housing assistance and support services to individuals with disabling physical and mental health conditions experiencing chronic homelessness.
Among the population studied, 90 percent had a minimum of two chronic health conditions, and 43 percent had seven or more. Medicaid spending for this group averaged more than $1,200 per month in the 7-15 months before people began permanent supportive housing services. Significant, chronic behavioral and physical health conditions can contribute to housing insecurity, and unstable housing can make it difficult for these individuals to manage their health care needs.
Following the introduction of permanent supportive housing services, spending stabilized and declined. The study found that by the third year after beginning permanent supportive housing, total Medicaid spending fell by an average of $162 per person, or 13 percent, each month. Changes in spending were primarily reductions in spending on inpatient care for both behavioral health and non-behavioral health conditions and a 22 percent decline in emergency department use. Instead, cases analyzed showed increased case management and pharmaceutical use, showing a shift towards management of chronic conditions as opposed to dealing with these conditions through emergency or inpatient settings.
“This report affirmed our perspective that housing people experiencing homelessness is both the right thing to do for their health and well-being and is a cost-effective approach,” said Sec. Miller. “Sustaining housing for those that have it—and establishing housing for those that don’t—is a centerpiece of our strategy to address the social determinants of health and help people live healthy and fulfilling lives, and we will continue to look for opportunities to meet this need among people who need it.”
Read the report here.

Request for Proposals: Eastern Pennsylvania Continuum of Care Connect to Home Coordinated Entry System Pocono Regional Manager

The Eastern Pennsylvania Continuum of Care’s Coordinated Entry Committee is requesting proposals from public, nonprofit and private sector organizations to employ, supervise and manage a 1.0 FTE Connect to Home CES Pocono Regional Manager for its housing crisis response system.

Download the RFPSubmissions due Friday, July 19, 2019 at 5:00pm

About Connect To Home
Connect To Home: Coordinated Entry System of Eastern PA (CES) coordinates and manages access, assessment, prioritization and referral to housing and services for any person(s) experiencing or at imminent risk of homelessness in the following counties: Adams, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lebanon, Lehigh, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Pike, Schuylkill, Somerset, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne and Wyoming.

Participation in CES is required for all projects funded by HUD Continuum of Care or Emergency Solutions Grants (including those administered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) and strongly encouraged for all other housing and service providers in order to ensure equitable and coordinated access for all.

PHFA Announces New Housing Policy Fellowship

HARRISBURG – With the goal of funding critical research and promoting leadership development, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency today announced the creation of a new Housing Policy Fellowship.

The fellowship will fund a maximum of 12 months of research and study on a pressing housing or community development topic. With a monthly stipend of $1,000, the maximum funding available will be $12,000. The financial support can be for a variety of activities supporting the approved research, including interviews with experts, securing resources and study materials, travel for attending relevant conferences and more.

This fellowship is intended to benefit the housing field by underwriting research on subjects that currently present housing or community development challenges. A secondary benefit of the fellowship will be its investment in an individual to promote their growth as a housing leader. The fellowship will produce documented findings that will be publicly available for everyone’s benefit.

“If we are satisfied with the results from this fellowship, we envision this becoming an annual occurrence that can help the housing field in a number of ways,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson. “Of course, the research findings will be of most interest initially. But we think the financial support for budding leaders in the housing field will provide long-term benefits, as well.”

The fellowship application is available on the agency’s website at www.PHFA.org; look under the “News” tab in the upper-left corner of the homepage, and then scroll down to “Housing Policy News.” All legal residents of the state over the age of 18 are eligible to apply, excluding PHFA staff and board members. All applications will be reviewed by PHFA staff according to the fellowship criteria, which are outlined in the application.
The fellowship application deadline is 3 p.m. on Sept. 6.

Questions about the fellowship may be directed to Bryce Maretzki at PHFA at 717.780.1867 or bmaretzki@phfa.org.