Category Archives: Housing

“Temporary Assistance for Needy Families | The Rapid Re-housing demonstration has completed its first year – 22 families who experienced homelessness were rapidly re-housed.”

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Rapid re-housing is a promising intervention designed to quickly connect families and pregnant women temporarily experiencing homelessness to permanent housing and services. Studies show significant gains in long-term success and housing stability when a family is able to quickly leave homeless shelters and get stabilized immediately.

A YEAR AGO, the Department of Human Services partnered with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services to administer this demonstration over a two-year period in West Philadelphia. The first participating families were rapidly re-housed and connected to needed services and employment with the goal of helping them attain self-sufficiency and ultimately reduce or eliminate their need for assistance in the future. In addition to receiving permanent housing, all 22 families from Year One received housing stabilization services, which included the completion of a stabilization plan. All of the families also received job development services, and as a result, 33 percent of families exiting the program also increased their income. As more families exit the program, we anticipate the growth of increased-income families to reach to 50 percent. All families who have exited the program thus far have remained in stable housing.

YEAR TWO OF THIS DEMONSTRATION started July 1, 2017, and will rapidly re-house 28 TANF-eligible families experiencing homelessness. Upon exiting the program, additional emphasis will be placed on securing employment and increasing income to better ensure families can maintain housing. Program evaluation and data collection will continue for 12 months. The demonstration is evaluated on a variety of performance measures to inform future efforts and explore best practices to better serve vulnerable TANF-eligible families experiencing homelessness.

SUCCESS STORIES

Ms. W entered the TANF Program as a single female with a child. Ms. W’s highest grade of education is 11th grade and her monthly entry income was $316. Ms. W obtained employment but had to resign when she became pregnant. After giving birth, Ms. W obtained full-time employment and increased her income from $316 to more than $1,000 a month, contingent upon an increase in hours. When the subsidy ended, she was able to maintain her rent without assistance. She also receives SNAP benefits to supplement food for her family. The Housing Stabilization Specialist negotiated a reduction in the rent from $900 to $800. Ms. W is still in the same apartment and is paying her rent independently.

Ms. J entered the TANF Program as a single female with an adopted child. Ms. J’s income at the beginning of the program was $480 a month adoption assistance. Ms. J is also partially disabled, but was not receiving disability payments when she entered the program. Ms. J did not have full use of her left arm which caused her to lose her job and, consequently, become homeless. The Housing Stabilization Specialist requested a rent reduction from $900 to $800 a month. Ms. J is currently employed through her church making $50 to $75 plus tips, varying by engagement. Due to her partial disability, she is in the process of getting her SSI/SSDI benefits. Ms. J also receives SNAP benefits to supplement food for the family. Ms. J is still in her apartment and is paying her rent independently.

SOURCES: Pennsylvania Department of Human Services / City of Philadelphia

 

“Five things that might surprise you about the fastest-growing segment of the housing market” – The Urban Institute

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“One of the most pronounced shifts in the housing market since the financial crisis has been the evolution of the single-family rental (SFR) market. Today, single-family rentals (one-unit, attached and detached) account for 35 percent of the country’s 44 million rental units, compared with 31 percent in 2006. More than half of renters live in structures with less than four units.

“The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center recently hosted a panel discussion with three single-family rental experts: Douglas Bendt from Investability, Sandeep Bordia from Amherst Capital Management, and Calvin Schnure from the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT). Their conversation illuminated five important facts everyone should know about this growing market:

“1. Single-family rental is the fastest-growing segment of the housing market.

“Growth in SFRs has outpaced growth of single-family owner and all multifamily housing in recent years. Data from NAREIT shows the SFR sector has seen growth every year since the crisis and has lingered around a 30 percent growth rate for the past three years, compared with less than a 15 percent growth rate for the multifamily market during that same period. The single-family owner market began to grow again in 2016, after declining for seven years.

“The number of households in the US is continuously increasing, but …”

To continue reading this article at The Urban Institute, click here.

Finding affordable housing – Senior Planet

Model home made of money

by Greg Perlman

“It’s no secret that we’re getting older. Over 76 million Americans are either at or approaching retirement age, and for some of us, getting older and retiring means getting poorer. More than 25 million Americans over 60 are economically insecure.

When you’re living on a fixed income, it can be a struggle to keep up with rising costs of living, and especially housing. Affordable housing programs exist, but how do you find the right program? And what does that process look like?

Click here to see a quick guide to options.

“Why We Need More Nonprofit Senior Housing | A plea to investors for more affordable housing with quality care” – next avenue

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“On the surface, the United States appears to be one of the best places to grow older. After all, we have some of the best hospital facilities, a high standard of living and tons of investors ready to help build a new wave of senior housing to keep our growing aging population safe. So why does America continue to rank behind other developing countries when it comes to the overall well-being of its elderly?

“It turns out quality senior housing itself is not enough to solve the problems facing today’s aging — problems including poverty and isolation, which lead to increased risk of death. Providing affordable, quality senior housing is key and it’s this kind of housing that is, sadly, in short supply.

“Time to Invest Better in Senior Housing

“We need to invest better in senior housing.

“When it comes to helping our aging, investors have a responsibility to look beyond just making money with their senior housing investments.”

Continue reading this next avenue article in its entirety, click here.

It’s not only in this state | “Many of state’s elderly residents struggle to pay their bills” – The Boston Globe

by Katie Johnson

“Judi Gorsuch has a degree in literature from Michigan State University. She worked as a flight attendant for 19 years, earning up to $40,000 a year, and spent a decade at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, making $12 an hour before her part-time position was cut.

“Now Gorsuch, 74, lives in public housing near the Prudential Center and relies on her monthly $1,460 Social Security check and $400-a-month pension. Between rent and groceries and medical costs, Gorsuch says she’s lucky if she has any money left at the end of the month. When a new prescription for a bladder condition upped her expenses by $55 a month, she stopped filling it.

“‘I just decided to use Depends,’ she said.”

“Gorsuch, who never married and has no children, is among nearly 300,000 Massachusetts residents age 65 and above whose incomes aren’t enough to cover basic necessities, according to the 2016 Elder Economic Security Standard Index developed at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

living below the line

“New estimates from the 2016 Elder Economic Security Standard Index™ suggest that half of older adults living alone, and one out of four older adults living in two-elder households, lack the financial resources required to pay for basic needs.”

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Click here to read The Boston Globe article in its entirety.

 

Is Lead Lurking in Your Home? | a program for Lancaster City and County residents

by Aimee Tyson, Program Manager, Community Services, Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority

Do you have children under the age of 6 in your home or do you have children under the age of 6 that spend more than 6 hour a week in your home?  If your home was built prior to 1978, you may be putting them at risk of lead poisoning.

Due to the news stories about the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan most people have heard about the detrimental effects of lead poisoning in children.  Childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, yet approximately half a million U.S. children have elevated blood lead levels.

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that was added to paint and gasoline until 1978 and in rare cases is still used in consumer products. People are most commonly exposed to lead through paint, soil, and water.

Lead poisoning is bad for everyone but is especially dangerous for pregnant women and children under the age of 6. It is not possible to reverse the negative effects of lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning causes the following in children:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system, including lowered IQ scores
  • Slowed growth and development
  • Learning and behavior problems including ADD
  • Hearing and speech problems

Children with lead poisoning have a higher incidence of dropping out of school and higher likelihood of involvement with juvenile justice systems.

What Can You Do to Make Your Home Lead Safe?

You can make efforts to make your home lead safe using a licensed and certified lead contractor.  If you have a low household income and lack the financial means to make your home lead safe or if you are a renter with a low income, the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority may be able to help.

In addition to the efforts undertaken by the Partnership for Public Health (see their website at https://www.partnershipforpublichealth.org, the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority are helping low- and moderate-income homeowners and renters in Lancaster County through the provision of a grant to reduce or remove the lead based paint hazards in the home. Click on the graphic below to download a flyer explaining the details of the program for residents of Lancaster City and County.

lead lurking

 

“Aging in the Right Place” – National Council on Aging

by Amy Ford

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“Marie shuffles cautiously across the kitchen floor, a small cup of black coffee shaking slightly in sore hands. She gently settles into her favorite chair at the table, and sets the coffee down on a placemat lined with photos of her 10 great-grandchildren.

“Marie lives alone in the home she and her husband bought at the beginning of their marriage. She’s sharp and still spends time with her great-grandkids and goes to church on Sundays, but physical limitations have caused her to slow down.

“Daily living has become more difficult, and she has had to give up taking friends to the doctor, volunteering at the local school, and driving at night. So it was no surprise to Marie when her family recently expressed how worried they are about her living alone. But sitting at the table, she can’t imagine leaving the house she has called home for more than 50 years.

“If you know someone like Marie, you know the decision to stay or go can feel overwhelming.”

Read this article in its entirety, click here.

“Baby boomers are downsizing — and the kids won’t take the family heirlooms” – The Boston Globe

For generations, adult children have agreed to take their aging parents’ possessions — whether they wanted them or not. But now, the anti-clutter movement has met the anti-brown furniture movement, and the combination is sending dining room sets, sterling silver flatware, and knick-knacks straight to thrift stores or the curb.

“And feelings are getting hurt, as adult children who are eager to minimize their own belongings — and who may live in small spaces, and entertain less formally than their parents did — are increasingly saying ‘no thanks’ to the family heirlooms.”

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By Beth Teitell | Globe Staff

“For 30 years, Pat Fryzel stored her children’s memorabilia, and her grandmother’s, too. But when she and her husband downsized, from a large Winchester home to a two-bedroom Boston townhouse, there was no room for the American Girl dolls or Nana’s cake plates. So Fryzel asked her grown kids to collect what they wanted.

“Fryzel, 64, a retired nurse practitioner, was not met with much enthusiasm. ‘They said, Take a picture and text it to us,’ she recalled.

“For generations, adult children have agreed to take their aging parents’ possessions — whether they wanted them or not. But now, the anti-clutter movement has met … ”

Continue reading this article at The Boston Globe, click here.

“America’s Health Rankings Senior Report released by United Health Foundation”

Pennsylvania ranks 26th in the country for senior citizens, according to the 2017 America’s Health Rankings Senior Report released by United Health Foundation.

Minnesota is the leading state for senior health in 2017, a title it also held in the first two years of the America’s Health Rankings Senior Report. Utah (second) reached its highest ranking in the report’s five-year history, after rising four spots this year. Hawaii (third), Colorado (fourth) and New Hampshire (fifth) round out the top five states.”

PA

 

“Homelessness in the US: Sleep Study and Accommodation Directory” – Tuck.com

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“It’s difficult to sleep if you don’t have a home. It’s especially difficult to sleep deeply when you have no way to secure your personal belongings and you’re worried about your personal safety.

“Unfortunately, this describes what sleeping is like for the homeless.”

This Website, Tuck.com, report may be a helpful resource. It is a portal to help increase awareness and help those affected by homelessness.

The portal contains a complete directory of all emergency shelters in the US, organized by state, with contact information (phone, web and address) as well as all of the services they offer plus a curated compilation of national and online resources for those affected by homelessness looking for help. Also included is overall study on homelessness in the US today.