Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced the award of more than $13.5 million in Homelessness Prevention & Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) grants, made possible through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. Eight recipient organizations will provide financial assistance and services to homeless individuals and families, as well as those who would become homeless without assistance. The program will provide short-term stability to families, allowing them to obtain stable, long-term housing when assistance ends.
"We've seen an increase in the number of hardworking people who are faced with unemployment, uncertainty, and homelessness," said Onorato. "Thanks to the federal recovery funds, we're taking proactive steps to help families and individuals weather the current economic downturn by offering financial counseling, relocation services, rental assistance and other options."
"There are many families and individuals in our City who have been affected by the current economic crisis, and it's important that we do whatever we can to protect them during these tough times," said Ravenstahl. "These funds will allow us to help those who are experiencing the threat of homelessness for the first time, as well as provide housing opportunities for those in need."
Action Housing, Community Human Services, North Hills Community Outreach, Veteran's Leadership Program, and the Urban League of Pittsburgh have been selected to provide homeless prevention programming and housing relocation services. In addition, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) Call Center and Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS), Neighborhood Legal Services, Three Rivers Communities-Apartment Search Locator, and Three Rivers Communities-Housing Quality Inspections will assist each of the grantees in implementation of their programs.
In order to qualify for assistance under the program, participants must be homeless or about to become homeless. In addition, households must be below 50 percent of the area median income, which for a family of four is $31,250, and must have no other housing options or financial support resources to obtain housing. Funds will be used to provide short-term and medium-term rental assistance, payment of security and utility deposits, moving costs, and motel vouchers, as well as financial counseling, credit repair, and legal services.
The programs are scheduled to begin in October. Information on how to apply for the programs will be released as soon as it becomes available.
The Homelessness Prevention Fund was created under Title XII of Division A of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. The purpose of HPRP is to provide homelessness prevention assistance to households who would otherwise become homeless many due to the economic crisis and to provide assistance to rapidly re-house persons who are homeless as defined by section 103 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
Allegheny County received $6.7 million in HPRP funds, and the City of Pittsburgh received $6.8 million. The Allegheny County Department of Economic Development and the City of Pittsburgh partnered on creating the HPRP program that was designated for both city and county residents.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687