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)

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.

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

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.