Housing Authorities in Pennsylvania

State of Housing in PennsylvaniaPennsylvania has received the second round of grants for the year 2013. The third award will be given toward the end of the year. It has so far, received a total of $83,549,418 for the support of local housing programs in Pennsylvania. The housing programs are:

Subsidized Housing or the Housing Choice Voucher

Subsidized Housing is housing in which tenants pay less than the going market rate for rent, typically no more than 30% of their income. Developers of subsidized housing receive financial assistance HUD or the government to help pay for some of the rent and utility costs. In general, low and moderate income families with children, elderly, and individuals with disabilities are eligible for subsidized housing. Subsidized housing may be site-based in specific buildings or complexes or tenant-based housing.Section 8 or housing choice voucher is a rent subsidy that gives an eligible person some choice about where to live. Under Section 8, the local housing authority or a state housing agency gives the tenant a certificate or voucher that says the government will subsidize the person's rent payments. Eligibility for housing choice vouchers or Section 8 is limited to:

  • Very low-income families;
  • Low-income families previously assisted under the public housing, Section 23, or Section 8 project-based housing programs;
  • Low-income families that are non-purchasing tenants of certain homeownership programs;
  • Low-income tenants displaced from certain Section 221 and 236 projects; or
  • Low-income families that meet PHA-specified eligibility criteria.

Fairweather Lodge

The Fairweather Lodge is a program for persons with mental illness. It is research driven and recovery-oriented. TheState of Housing in Pennsylvania model consists of shared housing and shared employment for persons with mental illness. Its goal is to provide emotional support, a place to live, and employment for its members. The program was developed by Dr. George Fairweather in California in 1963 as a result of extensive experimental research. In his studies, Dr. Fairweather found that people with serious mental illness are less likely to return to the hospital when they live and work together as a group, rather than live and work individually. His research also showed that the Lodge Program helps people stay in the community longer, provides more employment opportunities, and costs less than conventional treatment programs.

Housing Trust Fund

The Housing Trust Fund provides funds for the construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of rental homes and for homeownership for extremely low- and very low-income families.The Fund provides funding to developers to preserve, rehabilitate and construct housing, primarily for extremely low-income families. At least 80 percent of the funds must be used for the production, preservation, rehabilitation, or operation of rental housing. Up to 10 percent can be used for the following homeownership activities for first-time homebuyers: production, preservation, and rehabilitation; down payment assistance, closing cost assistance, and assistance for interest rate buy-downs.

Shelter plus Care (S+C)

This program provides rental assistance for homeless people with disabilities, primarily those with serious mental illness, chronic problems with alcohol and/or drugs, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and related diseases. Rental assistance grants must be matched in the aggregate by supportive services that are equal in value to the amount of rental assistance and appropriate to the needs of the population to be served. Recipients are chosen on a competitive basis nationwide.

Counseling for Homebuyers, Homeowners, and Tenants

HUD provides counseling service through approximately 1,700 HUD-approved counseling agencies. These agencies are public and private nonprofit organizations with housing counseling skills and knowledge of HUD, VA, and conventional housing programs. The funding helps the approved agencies partially meet their operating expenses.

Multifamily Housing Service Coordinators

This program provides funding for service coordinators who assist elderly individuals and persons with disabilities, living in federally assisted multifamily housing and in the surrounding area, to obtain needed supportive services from community agencies. Independent living with assistance is a preferable, lower cost housing alternative to institutionalization for many frail older persons and persons with disabilities. HUD provides funding through three mechanisms:

  • A national competition with other properties for a limited amount of grant funding,
  • The use of the development's residual receipts or excess income, or
  • Budget-based rent increases or special rent adjustments.

Self-Help Housing Property Disposition

The property must be used for self-help housing for low-income persons. Residents of the property must make aState of Housing in Pennsylvania substantial contribution of labor toward the construction, rehabilitation, or refurbishment of the property. HUD has the right to take the property back if it is not used in accordance with program requirements.

Nursing Homes and Facilities

Assisted living facilities and board and care facilities may contain no fewer than five one‑bedroom or efficiency units. Nursing home, intermediate care, and board and care services may be combined in the same facility covered by an insured mortgage or may be in separate facilities. Major equipment needed to operate the facility may be included in the mortgage. Facilities for day care may be included.

Family Self-Sufficiency Program

The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is administered by public housing agencies (PHAs) with the help of program coordinating committees (PCCs). The PCC usually consists of representatives of local government, employment and job training agencies, welfare agencies, nonprofit providers, local businesses, and assisted families.

Lead Hazard Control

This program promotes preventive measures to correct multiple safety and health hazards in the home environment. It addresses childhood lead-based paint poisoning and other childhood diseases associated with poor housing conditions such as exposure to moisture, mold, poor air quality, lead paint, residential application of pesticides, the presence of allergens, vermin, dust, and other substances that contribute to asthma, and hazardous conditions that increase the risk of injury.

Emergency Capital Repairs Program

This program provides grants for substantial capital repairs to eligible multifamily projects with elderly tenants that are needed to rehabilitate, modernize, or retrofit aging structures, common areas, or individual dwelling units. The capital repair needs must relate to items that present an immediate threat to the health, safety, and quality of life of the tenants. The intent of these grants is to provide one-time assistance for emergency items that could not be absorbed within the project's operating budget, and where the tenants' continued occupancy in the immediate future would be called into question by a delay in initiating the proposed cure.

Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program

The Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program is a home mortgage specifically designed for American Indian and Alaska Native families, Alaska Villages, Tribes, or Tribally Designated Housing Entities. Section 184 loans can be used, both on and off native lands, for new construction, rehabilitation, purchase of an existing home, or refinance. Working with an expanding network of private sector and tribal partners, the Section 184 Program endeavors to increase access to capital for Native Americans and provide private funding opportunities for tribal housing agencies with the Section 184 Program. To help increase Native access to financing, the Office ofState of Housing in Pennsylvania Loan Guarantee within HUD’s Office of Native American Programs, guarantees the Section 184 home mortgage loans made to Native Borrowers.

The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing

The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program combines Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA provides these services for participating Veterans at VA medical centers (VAMCs) and community-based outreach clinics.After determining which areas of the country have the highest number of homeless Veterans, the VA Central Office identifies VA facilities in the corresponding communities. HUD then selects PHAs near to the identified VA facilities, taking into consideration the PHAs’ administrative performance, and sends the PHAs invitations to apply for the vouchers.

Eligibility

The government sets the income limits for public housing and vouchers. These income limits may change in different parts of the state and for different sized families.

Income Limits for Housing Subsidy in Pennsylvania

FY 2013 Very Low-Income (50%) Limit (VLIL)
Pennsylvania
Income Limit Information Median Family Income 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
FY 2013 VLIL $65,800 $23,050 $26,300 $29,600 $32,900 $35,550 $38,150 $40,800 $43,450
FY 2013 Extremely Low-Income (30%) Limit (ELIL)
Pennsylvania
Income Limit Information 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
FY 2013 ELIL $13,800 $15,800 $17,750 $19,750 $21,300 $22,900 $24,500 $26,050
FY 2013 Low-Income (80%) Limit (LIL)
Pennsylvania
Income Limit Information 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
FY 2013 LIL $36,850 $42,100 $47,400 $52,650 $56,850 $61,050 $65,250 $69,500

Applicants for public housing, rent subsidy, or other housing assistance must meet certain eligibility criteria and must pass a criminal background check. They may be given priority status if they are:

  • Persons who are homeless due to natural disasters.
  • Persons who are homeless due to public action.
  • Persons with emergency needs (such as domestic violence victims, persons with medical emergencies, or homeless persons facing an immediate threat to their health and safety.
  • Veterans and local residents

Unemployment Rate in Pennsylvania

The unemployment rate for Pennsylvania fell 0.3 percentage points in April 2013 to 7.6%. The state unemployment rate was 0.1 percentage points higher than the national rate for the month. It peaked in February 2010 at 8.7% and is now 1.1 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 7.6% in January 2012, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.0 percentage points.

Unemployment RateMarch 2013Month/MonthYear/Year
National 7.5% -0.1 -0.6
Pennsylvania 7.6% -0.3 -0.2

A state’s unemployment rate generallyreflects its economy. It also affects the state’s housing waiting lists. The higher the unemployment rate, the longer the waiting lists. Please ask your housing agency for details of the programs you are interested in.