Rendell Says PA Accepting Comments on Plan to Prevent Homelessness Using Stimulus Funds

More than $23 Million Available to Help Counties Provide Emergency Rental Assistance, Move Homeless into Stable Housing

 HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s plan to provide struggling families with stable housing with $23.4 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is now available online, according to Gov. Edward G. Rendell, who noted that the public may offer written comments on it through May 13. 

Under the rules of the federal recovery package, the Department of Community and Economic Development must file an update to its existing consolidated plan with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The plan is available online at www.recovery.pa.gov under the “Announcements” section. 

The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, which provides financial assistance and other services to help people and families gain stability in housing, includes short- and medium-term rental assistance or help with costs associated with moving into permanent housing, as well as relocation and stabilization services. 

“These challenging economic times have created hardships for families all across the commonwealth, often through no fault of their own,” said Rendell. “We’ve worked hard using our existing resources to help keep more families in their homes and let them know that there is help available through agencies and organizations in their own community, but these additional federal stimulus dollars will help us provide support to those in need.” 

DCED will provide counties with funds to facilitate an increase in their existing local programs that provide emergency rental assistance payments, case management, and related services to prevent homelessness. Counties also must demonstrate how they will use locally controlled funds to provide supportive services that make it possible for homeless people to move into permanent housing.  

All counties are eligible to receive a portion of the funds based on a formula using both a base grant amount and a need factor based upon population risk factors. Pennsylvania counties must notify DCED of their intent to participate in the formula portion of the program by June 15.   

Written comments should be directed to vsherrick@state.pa.us, or V. Sherrick, DCED, 400 North St., 4th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17120. 

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