Homeless and Special-Needs Housing
OHCD helps provide permanent and transitional housing for homeless people and other low-income people with specialized housing and service needs.
Jon Bon Joiv and Deborah McColloch at the groundbreaking for St. John the Evangelist House at 1211 Clover Street.
Emergency Shelter Grant Financing
The mission of the Office of Supportive Housing (OSH) is
the provision of emergency food, short-term shelter and supportive services
to homeless individuals and families. OSH administers all emergency
shelter and shelter-related support service funding available to the
City. A major funding source of the provision of emergency housing is
the federal Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) program which is allocated
to the City as an entitlement program through OHCD.
The proposed usage of ESG funds remains to
augment the Citys array of shelter and support services, in addition
to leveraging local operating and available state funding for emergency
homeless housing. OSH will allocate the ESG funding through a Request
for Information (RFI) process wherein selected providers are notified
to submit documentation.
Housing Assistance/Mental Health
OHCD responds to the need for assisted housing for persons with mental
illness. OHCD provides funds for the provision of rental
assistance for persons receiving supportive services under programs
administered by the Office of Behaviorial Health (OBH). The supportive
services provided include treatment, case management, socialization,
recreation and residential support to this targeted population.
Rental Assistance to the Homeless
OHCD supports the Philadelphia Transitional Housing Program which provides
housing counseling, case management and rental assistance to homeless
persons to promote self-sufficiency. OHCD supports the Tenant Union Representative Newtwork (TURN) to provide rental assistance to persons with HIV/AIDS.
OHCD provides administrative oversight to the
competitively awarded federal Shelter Plus Care (S+C) Program. S+C provides
rental assistance to homeless persons/households with histories of mental
illness, substance abuse or persons with AIDS through contracts with
various non-profit organizations.
The City funds activities designed to prevent low-income individuals
and families with children (especially those with incomes below 30 percent
of median) from becoming homeless. These activities are funded with
Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS
Based on an increase in the incidence of new cases relative to other
highly impacted regions, Philadelphia continues to receive around $7 million annually in
Consultation and Coordination
The original HOPWA regulations issued by HUD mandated that the City,
as grantee, work closely with the Ryan White CARE Act Planning Council
for the region in allocating funding and in designing HOPWA-funded housing
programs for persons with AIDS. OHCD coordinates with Ryan White CARE
Act Planning Council by meeting monthly with the Housing Committee of
the Philadelphia HIV Commission, the Ryan White Title I Planning Council
for the entire region. In 2000, the City restructured the Ryan White
Planning Council. OHCD now appoints an HIV/AIDS Housing Advisory Committee.
Through this committee, local government representatives as well as
advocates, persons with HIV/AIDS, and service and housing providers
meet to advise OHCD on HIV/AIDS housing policy and programs.
Project Sponsor Selection
OHCD contracts with existing project sponsors
for emergency grants, rental assistance, operating costs and supportive
services, and housing counseling activities carried out by suburban
providers. Philadelphia agencies providing housing counseling activities
for persons with HIV/AIDS are selected as part of a broader housing
Urgent Needs to be Met
OHCD supports the most urgent and immediate housing needs by concentrating
on direct housing assistance, including rental assistance vouchers,
short-term (emergency) payments to prevent homelessness and direct operating
costs for community-based and other residences. Funding is continued
for information/referrals (housing counseling) and for supportive services
linked to housing services for persons with mental illness and substance-abuse
Technical Assistance and Planning
OHCD funds technical assistance and planning efforts to support homeless and special-needs housing initiatives. OHCD funds the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition
which assists other private organizations through workshops on homeless
housing and supportive services. OHCD funds the provision
of technical assistance to organizations developing housing for, or
providing assistance to, persons with disabilities. Additionally, OHCD
supports the senior housing workshops series.
Recent Program Initiatives
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR $8 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR SPECIAL-NEEDS HOUSING
PHILADELPHIA- Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) Director Deborah McColloch and Office of Supportive Housing (OSH) Director Dainette M. Mintz today announced steps to produce 133 units of affordable housing for special-needs populations. Units will be targeted toward homeless veterans, individuals and families, adults with autism and disabled persons. Housing will be created through development and leasing.
OHCD has awarded $4.36 million to five special-needs housing developments. “The need for affordable housing is even more urgent for special-needs populations,” said McColloch. “OHCD is proud to support these initiatives and help secure homes for some of our most vulnerable individuals and families.”
Developers, funding amounts and populations served are:
- Autism Living and Working, Inc., $250,000, housing for four adults with autism;
- Citizens Acting Together Can Help (CATCH), $1.8 million, housing for 15 chronically homeless veterans with mental health disorders and/or substance abuse disorders;
- Gaudenzia Foundation, $673,100, housing for six homeless families where the head of household is recovering from substance abuse or co-occurring disorders;
- Liberty Housing Development Corporation, $434,550, housing for 13 persons with disabilities who are transitioning from nursing homes to independent living.
- People’s Emergency Center Community Development Corporation (PEC), $1.2 million, housing for seven homeless families with substance abuse, mental illness or physical disabilities.
In addition to the awards made by OHCD, OSH will request $3.62 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development later this month to leverage funds committed by OHCD and to create additional housing opportunities. “Our ability to solve homelessness in Philadelphia depends on the creation of affordable housing and sustained partnerships with entities that provide supportive services for people with disabilities,” said Mintz. “We are pleased to have a host of skilled developers and program practitioners to recommend for this competitive funding opportunity.”
Developers, funding amounts and populations served are:
- Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM), $422,226 to lease 13 permanent housing units for families whose head of household is a homeless ex-offender;
- Pathways to Housing, $1.37 million to lease 65 housing units for chronically homeless Philadelphians; and
- Resources for Human Development, $212,184 to lease 10 permanent-housing units for chronically homeless individuals with mental illness.
An additional $880,696 for CATCH, $145,712 for Gaudenzia and $587,528 for PEC will be included in the OSH application to HUD.
A panel of City housing and development experts recommended projects to OHCD as part of a competitive selection process. Awards include HOME and Community Development Block Grant-Recovery (CDBG-R) funds to support affordable housing development. Supportive Housing Program (SHP) funds will leverage housing development funding and provide for leasing, program operation and supportive services costs for homeless individuals and families.
Casa Nueva Vida
OHCD provides housing development financing for HIV or AIDS housing.
These funds are made available through an RFP for Special-Needs Housing.
Private and Public Funding Sources
For most of the housing activities to be funded, there is little other
public or private funding available. The Ryan White CARE Act funds case
management services which serve as the basic social service system for
persons with HIV/AIDS. Ryan White funds in the Philadelphia region have
not traditionally been used to provide housing or housing services,
and regulations severely limit the kind and nature of housing which
can be provided.
OHCD supports Dignity Housings program
of counseling for formerly homeless persons residing in houses rehabilitated
by Dignity. The high level of ongoing service by Dignity combined with
client commitments to a specific program leading toward self-sufficiency
are key elements of Dignitys approach.