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)

Open Position – HMIS Administrator

The HMIS Administrator position at the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development has been posted for applicants to begin applying. You can find the position posting here. The deadline for applications is July 8, 2019.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
Provides support for the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), Continuum of Care (CoC) Program, and Consolidated Plan; coordination of and planning for homeless-related programs; and, supplemental monitoring for federal programs administered by the Center. Coordinates with and manages the contracts of IT personnel, contractors and staff in the development and upgrading of the HMIS system.
Full position description can be found here.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE, TRAINING & ELIGIBILITY
A bachelor’s degree in business or public administration or a related field; or An equivalent combination of experience and training.

Preferred Qualifications:
Associate’s Degree or higher in the field of public and/or business administration, communications, or management.
Strong skill-set and demonstrated experience analyzing data and/or utilizing a data management system.
Please feel free to share this position within your network!

The Western PA CoC’s Youth Action Board is Recruiting Members

The Western PA CoC’s Governing Board has agreed to allocate funds to create a Youth Action Board that will be comprised of youth ages 16-24 who have current or past lived experience in their 20 county region. The youth will build their board, advocate for programming, and help to monitor youth programs. They will be paired with a mentor, receive training, and be paid for their work serving on the board.

Please use the documents below which can be used to recruit youth! Their participation in the CoC is critical in understanding youth homelessness and to create a continuum that meets the needs of youth.

Youth Action Board – About the CoC

Youth ActionBoard Job Description

Youth Action Board Guidelines

2019 Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Webinar

The DCED Homelessness Team will be hosting a webinar on the 2019 ESG Application on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 from 1:30pm – 2:30pm. We encourage all municipalities and service providers who may be interested in administering the grant to attend. The webinar will cover the basic requirements of the application and will include all of the changes in this year’s application that were recommended by the ESG Workgroup. Please see the webinar information below to register for this event.

Topic: Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) FY2019 Application Webinar
Host: DCED PAHMIS Staff
Date: Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Time: 1:30 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)
Session Number: Not Available
Registration password: This session does not require a registration password.

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To register for this training session
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Go to https://copa.webex.com/copa/k2/j.php?MTID=t7938b3536ff00d4f1e303fb81d1d78cf and register.

Once you are approved by the host, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the session.

To view in other time zones or languages, please click the link
https://copa.webex.com/copa/k2/j.php?MTID=t9f77bd530276121a72d8a4a6d8093294

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For assistance
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You can contact DCED PAHMIS Staff at:
dweathingt@pa.gov
1-717-720-7304 

VAWA Housing Protections; Implementation Considerations for ESG and CoC Programs Webinar

Please join HUD and CSH to discuss implementation considerations for HUD’s Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Final Rule in Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) and Continuum of Care (CoC) Programs with two CoCs – Louisiana Balance of State and Austin/Travis County. The VAWA Final Rule expands housing protections for survivors of domestic abuse, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in CoC and ESG projects. The rule was created to help ensure all individuals have access to a safe home without the fear of violence and to reduce the risk of homelessness among survivors.
Learn more about:
  • Strategies on implementing quality emergency transfer plans
  • Methods on improving quick, low barrier access to safe housing options for survivors
  • Partnerships with victim services providers and domestic violence coalitions that can assist in implementing housing protections for survivors
The webinar will provide strategies for quality implementation of the VAWA Final Rule, specifically targeted to recipients of ESG and CoC funds.
VAWA Housing Protections – Implementation Considerations for ESG and CoC Programs Webinar
Date: Monday, March 11, 2019
Time: 1:00 PM EDT

Public Posting of FY2018 CoC Application for the Western PA Continuum of Care (PA-601)

Public Posting of FY2018 CoC Application for the Western PA Continuum of Care (PA-601)

In accordance with HUD’s requirement that the FY2018 Continuum of Care Consolidated Application be available for public review and comment 48 hours prior to the submission deadline of September 18, 2018 at 7:59pm EST, please find the below listed documents to be submitted to HUD on behalf of the Western PA Continuum of Care (PA-601).

This posting consists of:

  • CoC Application, including documentation of objective ranking and selection process, final version of the completed CoC Consolidated Application, and attachments to the CoC Consolidated Application.
  • Project Priority Listing, including reallocation forms, all project applications that were accepted and ranked, and rejected projects.

Please send any comments to westerncoc@pennsylvaniacoc.org by noon on Tuesday, September 18.

DRAFT Submission Documents, posted 9/16/18:

FY2018 CoC Final Ranking, which includes new & renewal projects

 

You can find more information on the FY2018 Western CoC (PA-601) NOFA here.

Scholarship Opportunity for the Homes Within Reach Conference October 29-31.

We are pleased to announce the PA Department of Community and Economic Development will be providing scholarships to the Homes Within Reach Conference to members working for organizations and agencies that serve the PA CoC Balance of State counties working to prevent and end homelessness. The Balance of State covers 53 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. This includes 33 counties that are part of the Eastern PA CoC and 20 counties in the Western PA CoC. Click here to see counties included.

Apply today for a scholarship to join over 850 housing professionals as we network with our peers and learn the latest news in best practices in the housing industry.

Please click here to access the application.

Once approved we will forward you the registration link. The deadline for consideration is Friday, September 7th.

Visit our updated HWR conference website for complete program information and to learn more.

Special Homelessness Session Highlights:

• Homelessness Affinity Day Lunch focuses on the future of Coordinated Entry
• Homelessness Affinity Day Dinner discusses adopting new models of emergency shelter and transitional housing.
• Workshops include: Engaging Youth, Eviction Prevention, Collaborations between Behavioral Health and Housing, Re-entry Initiatives for the Justice Involved, Housing First, and more…

Please feel free to call the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania at 215-576-7044 if you have any questions.