Category Archives: Housing

Housing as a Human Right – Save the Date: May 9 – 10, 2023

Lebanon County, The Cottage Open House!

Lebanon County Open House for The Cottage

Manor at Market Square – Welcoming New Residents

Our award-winning community has immediate availability!      
MEMORY CARE Female Shared and Male Shared  

INDEPENDENT LIVING/PERSONAL CARE Limited Availability Shared and Private Studio and One-Bedroom Apartments      

EMAIL CHRISTINE FOR MORE DETAILS   Or call Christine at Manor at Market Square at 610-816-0900.  
803 Penn Street, Reading, PA 19601 • 610-816-0900 •
We are an equal opportunity housing provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.

Self Determination Housing of Pennsylvania

Affordable Housing for Veterans and Seniors

Fairness in PA Housing

  APRIL 29, 2022  Fairness in PA Housing Includes People of All Ages, Abilities, and Income LevelsThe Department of Human Services (DHS) believes that housing is a right for all Pennsylvanians. Our mission is to ensure that housing assistance is available to all, especially those who need it most.  April is National Fair Housing Month. April 11, 2022, marked the 54th anniversary of the enactment of the federal Fair Housing Act, which protects people from discrimination when they are renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, seeking housing assistance, or engaging in other housing-related activities. Initially, the Fair Housing Act prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, and national origin. Later, the Act’s protections were expanded to include discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and familial status.
Pennsylvania has a variety of housing programs and services that can help older adults, people with disabilities, individuals and families with low incomes, or those who are at-risk of or experiencing, homelessness. These programs can connect individuals and families with local assistance in finding somewhere to live, in-home supports, home modifications, and more.Housing Quick Reference Guide | Spanish — DHSSupports and Services for People Experiencing Homelessness — DHS What Type of Housing Assistance is Available? Here are some of the types of services that exist:Housing search — Tools to locate housing in your area.Homeless shelters — Temporary residences for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.Short-term housing — Housing options that typically offer leases of less than six months.Relocation assistance — Assistance with downsizing and relocation.Assisted living facilities — A long-term senior care option that provides personal care support services such as meals, medication management, bathing, dressing and transportation.Housing modifications — Assistance with home improvements, modifications, and repairs that improve the accessibility, adaptability, and/or design of a home.Home and community-based supports — Services that provide assistance with a variety of activities to help individuals remain in their home or community. Housing Resources for PennsylvaniansPennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) Housing Resources
In the Quick Start Housing Resources section, PHFA and the Self-Determination Housing Project’s Regional Housing Coordinators have compiled local housing and social services resources for every county across the Commonwealth, including variety of housing providers such as housing authorities, homeless services providers, access home modification programs, community action agencies, and more.
 PA Housing Search | 1-877-428-8844
This is a free, online rental and homeownership service that helps people search for housing by topics such as rent amount, area of interest, accessibility, or availability of public transportation. A bi-lingual, toll-free number is also available. On the website, you can also find additional statewide information and resources, including a rental checklist, rent calculator, information on services, transportation, FAQs related to renting, and much more.
 Public Housing Authorities

If you need public housing assistance or information about public housing programs, such as Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs), please contact your local public housing authority (PHA). The HCV program is the federal government’s major program that assists families with with low incomes, older adults, and individuals with disabilities obtain safe and sanitary housing in the private housing market. Pennsylvania’s list of PHAs and contact information can be found at the above link.
 PA LINK to Community Care
Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) are a nationwide effort to assist older adults and individuals with disabilities who need help with activities of daily living. The ADRC in Pennsylvania is known as the Link. The PA Link can: easily connect you to local services through any LINK partner agency; help you explore existing options to ensure a secure plan for independence; assist you with applications to determine eligibility; and help you remain in, or return to, your community.
 Rural Development Multi-Family Rental Housing Search Tool
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s web-based rural housing search tool allows you to click on your county to find information about housing in your area.
 2-1-1 United Way | Call: 2-1-1 
PA 2-1-1 is a free resource and information hub that can connect you with customized health, housing, and human services information. By calling 211, you can receive information related to food, housing, employment, health care, along with a variety of other services. PA 2-1-1 also provides a 24/7 confidential phone service and website. For individuals facing a housing crisis, you can also ask for support in learning how to connect to your community’s Coordinated Entry lead and partner agencies. 2-1-1 provides this services in some communities, and can connect you to resources. 
 DHS Emergency Rental Assistance Program
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) was created to help renters dealing with financial challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For eligible households, the program offers rental and utility assistance to help Pennsylvanians avoid eviction or loss of utility service. Certain PA counties may still have funding available to help landlords and renters at risk of eviction or losing utility services because of the COVID-19 pandemic.File a Complaint

Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC)
In Pennsylvania, fair housing is enforced by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC), under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA). The Act prohibits housing discrimination in the sale, rental, finance, or otherwise to deny or withhold any housing accommodation or commercial property from any person based on race, color, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, familial status, or use of a supportive/service animal for a disability. If you feel you have been the victim of illegal housing and commercial property discrimination, file a complaint or report a bias incident to PHRC: Call the Pennsylvania Fair Housing Hotline at 855-866-5718.Call 717-787-4410 | 717-787-7279 (TTY)Visit one of PHRC’s three regional offices. 
(Regional offices are currently closed due to COVID-19 precautions. Drop boxes for required forms are available in the lobby of the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh offices.)Pennsylvania Attorney General
The Civil Rights Enforcement Section of the PA Attorney General’s Office protects and advances the rights of Pennsylvanians through the enforcement of state and federal civil rights laws. The office reviews every complaint of a civil rights violation to determine the proper response.Submit a Civil Rights ComplaintView the Civil Rights Enforcement Section BrochureAdditional Fair Housing Resources Fair Housing in Pennsylvania — PA Department of Economic Development (DCED)Fair Housing and Lending — PA Attorney General UPDATE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION  Did you move? Have a new phone number? 
Keep the lines of communications open with DHS to receive critical updates concerning your benefits.LOG IN TO COMPASS TO MAKE UPDATES   More from DHS  Follow DHS
on Social
@PAHumanServices@PAHumanServicesPA Department of Human ServicesThank you for subscribing!All of us at DHS would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to all of our readers as we continue to serve, protect, and educate Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable. If you’re not a DHS regular yet, be sure to follow us on social and visit our For All of Us blog for more reads.DHS & PA Headlines• Department of Human Services Recognizes Holistic Supports in Child Abuse Prevention
— PennWatch
• State needs ‘continued investment’ in assisted living, department says 
— McKnights Senior Living
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Our mailing address is:Pennsylvania Department of Human ServicesP.O. Box 2675Harrisburg, Pa 17105-2675Add us to your address book

May 4th DEADLINE: Housing as a Human Right – Conference on May 5, 2022

Take Survey: Act 4 Housing & Health

Happy Fair Housing Month!

Happy Fair Housing Month!
Much of the work we do at SDHP is teaching other social service providers and landlords all about fair housing. None of this would be possible without the passage of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 known as the Fair Housing Act. This act established individuals cannot be discriminated against in any housing transaction based on the following protected classes: race, class, color, national origin, disability, familial status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Many other statutes and regulations, even executive orders have expanded on these rights. Learn more this month by attending one of our free webinars that teach the nuances of fair housing and how it may come up in your work!

April 7, 10:00 AM Tenants’ Rights: Fair Housing and Beyond 
April 12, 10:00 AM   Assistance Animals Explained 
April 20, 12:00 PM Eviction Prevention and Processes

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn for insider tips on fair housing all month long!

Agency Spotlight: Fair Housing Law Center

In recognition of Fair Housing Month 2022, we are honored to highlight the Fair Housing Law Center. Located in Washington County, FHLC operates in 28 counties in Western Pennsylvania as well as four counties in West Virginia. Operated by Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid, FHLC has been a major asset to Pennsylvania since 2005. Their mission is to “identify and eliminate housing discrimination through education, advocacy, and enforcement efforts”.

FHLC works tirelessly to uphold the Fair Housing Act through a combination of education, training, and advocacy efforts. One of their well-known initiatives is their Tester Program. In this program, trained Fair Housing Testers measure landlords for discrimination by acting as renters who fall into a protected class. The testers complete reports, which are then reviewed by FHLC staff. Further action is taken against landlords as needed.

FHLC Deputy Director Jaime Milligan shared that complaints alleging discrimination because of disability continue to account for the largest number of complaints, at 54.56%. Discrimination based on disability is usually overt, making it easier to detect and more practical to file a complaint. In the last grant year, they successfully resolved 25 reasonable accommodation or modification cases, referred 7 reasonable accommodation/modification denials to either Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) or HUD, and filed one complaint in federal court. These numbers are a great reminder of both the prevalence of these discriminations as well as the need for the services that agencies such as FHLC provides.

For more information on the Fair Housing Law Center, including how to become a tester and how to report discrimination, check out their website at or give them a call at 1-877-725-4472