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.

2019 Emergency Solutions Grant Request for Proposal Released

The 2019 Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Request for Proposal (RFP) has been released as of April 1, 2019. You can find the guidelines for the applications on DCED’s website here. DCED anticipates an award total of $5.5 million to award potential applicants.

Some important dates to consider for interested applicants:

2019 ESG Invoicing Webinar: April 9, 2019 from 1:30-2:30pm
Intent to Apply Deadline: April 15, 2019
Application opens for submission on May 31, 2019 and closes on June 14, 2019

If you have any questions regarding the 2019 ESG application, please contact Stacy Hawthorne at shawthorne@pa.gov.

Wolf Administration Awards $15 Million in Housing Grants to Help Individuals Battling Opioid Use Disorder

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that the departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) and Human Services (DHS) have awarded $15 million in federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grants for a new program to provide case management and housing support services for Pennsylvanians with an opioid use disorder (OUD). The pilot programs will support innovative practices that increase access to support services for individuals with OUD, keep people engaged in treatment and recovery, and help prevent overdose-related deaths.

“With these grant announcements we are taking an important step in removing a barrier to recovery and independence for those suffering from opioid use disorder,” Gov. Wolf said. “As we continue to battle this health crisis, being able to address housing as a means to get people into treatment and on the road to recovery is a key component.”

First announced in October, the program will direct the $15 million through 16 grant agreements that will assist urban and rural counties throughout the commonwealth. The pilot programs will assist individuals as they become and remain engaged in evidence-based treatment programs and will provide individuals with support services such as pre-tenancy and tenancy education services to maintain stable housing.

The counties selected for pilot programs under the request for applications were identified via a formula that equally considered the rate of individuals diagnosed with a substance use disorder (SUD) and rate of overdose-related deaths in a county. The selected grant recipient are:

Awardee Counties Served
Allegheny Department of Human Services Allegheny
Armstrong County Community Action Agency Armstrong
Blair County Community Action Program Blair
Center for Community Resources Butler
Commission on Economic Opportunity Luzerne
Community Counseling Center for Mercer County Mercer
Connect, Inc. Greene, Washington
Delaware County Office of Behavioral Health Delaware
Family Health Council of Central PA Dauphin
Fayette County Community Action Agency Fayette
Juniata Valley Tri-County Drug & Alcohol Abuse Commission Mifflin
Lawrence County Drug & Alcohol Commission Lawrence
Lehigh Conference on Churches Lehigh
Northern Tier Community Action Corporation Cameron
Philadelphia Single County Authority Philadelphia
The Wright Center for Community Health Lackawanna, Luzerne

“We know that each individual seeking treatment is just that – an individual,” said DDAP Secretary Jennifer Smith. “They each have different situations and circumstances hindering their recovery. In order to truly combat this crisis, we must build capacity to support individuals by providing necessary, supportive wrap around services like stable housing and case management.”

“The conditions in which a person lives play a substantial role in a person’s health. When a person experiences homelessness in addition to a substance use disorder, the lack of a secure home is often a barrier to staying engaged with treatment and recovery, if they are able to access treatment at all,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “These programs will soon assist people with housing access and stability and will help more people stay engaged in treatment and reach recovery.”

SAMHSA has distinguished four major dimensions that support a life in recovery: Health, Home, Purpose, and Community. This project aims to support two components of the dimensions – Home and Purpose. By giving an individual a stable, safe place to focus on their recovery, paired with the independence and self-worth that housing provides, an individual’s overall health and wellbeing is greatly improved.

Housing instability, combined with unmet basic needs, makes the road to recovery and independence extremely challenging. According to national data, about one in five people experiencing homelessness has a chronic substance use disorder. This aligns with information gathered from Pennsylvania’s 45 state-sponsored OUD Centers of Excellence, a majority of which identify housing as a major barrier for their clients.

The grants are made possible by the $55.9 million SAMHSA grant secured to bolster the state’s response to the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic. Additional initiatives included in the grant are focused on expanding services to pregnant women and veterans affected by OUD, developing the treatment and recovery workforce, and strengthening criminal justice and law enforcement initiatives with a focus on reentrant supports.

Find more information on the state’s efforts to battle the opioid crisis here.

MEDIA CONTACT:    J.J. Abbott, 717-783-1116

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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 

2019 PA Community Alliance Summit

The Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council invites you to a day of networking, discovering alliances and collaboration building among diverse organizations throughout Pennsylvania led by and/or supporting underserved/unserved populations who experience marginalization and oppression.

Oppression affects many of us, for different socially constructed reasons: racism, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual identity and orientation, disability, economics, rural/urban location, religion, and so much more. Although our discrimination experiences may be different, we can be a valuable support and resource to each other in our struggles for equality, inclusion and social justice.

Event Details

When: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 to Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Where: Harrisburg Hilton – One N. 2nd Street Harrisburg, PA
Registration for this event is FREE on a first come first serve basis (up to 3 individuals per agency)

To learn more information and to register for this event, please click here.

General questions about the event can be directed to Dana Thompson – danathomps@pa.gov or call (717) 214-8103

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

Connect To Home Coordinated Entry System (CES) Featured in County News Magazine February 2019

The Eastern PA CoC is pleased to share that an article on Connect to Home: CES of Eastern Pennsylvania has been published in the February 2019 issue of the Pennsylvania County News magazine, the premier publication of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP). The Pennsylvania County News serves as the mouthpiece for county and local government issues and provides education and information about counties to its 1,500 plus readers.

You may read the published article here.