URA Announces Additional Housing Stabilization Program Administrators are Up and Running
PITTSBURGH, PA (July 2020) The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) announced today that additional Housing Stabilization Program (HSP) administrators are up and running, following an expansion of the Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) program to meet the unprecedented demand of rental and mortgage assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The program received nearly $3.5 million in additional funding to ensure our neighbors in the City of Pittsburgh stay safely and stably housed during this pandemic,” said Jessica Smith Perry, URA director of Housing Lending and Investments. "We are thankful that we already had an operating Housing Stabilization Program prior to COIVD-19 and that with the help of private, public, government, community, and advocate partners we were able to expand the program quickly and add additional social service program administrators.”
At the June 2020 URA Board meeting 11 nonprofits were approved to serve as HSP program administrators, four of which were already HSP administrators.
The nonprofits and their respective awards are:
- ACTION-Housing - $550,000
- Chartiers Center - $270,000
- Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania - $200,000
- Jewish Family and Community Services (JCFS) - $300,000
- Macedonia Family and Community Enrichment Center (Macedonia FACE) - $100,000
- NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania - $150,000
- Pittsburgh Community Services, Inc. - $200,000
- Pittsburgh Mercy - $100,000
- Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh - $550,000
- Veterans Leadership Program (VLP) - $95,000
- Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Greater Pittsburgh - $500,000
The HSP provides one time or short-term funding to individuals and families who are struggling with housing expenses including rent, mortgage, and utilities, and prevents homelessness.
Additionally, on Friday July 10, the HSP now provides eviction prevention services to renters who have filed an eviction appeal with Common Pleas (known as the Housing Court). ACTION-Housing and the YWCA will work directly with the Housing Court to prevent at least 100 households from being evicted during this time. This pilot program is funded by The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Emergency Action Fund through contributions from The Heinz Endowments, Richard King Mellon Foundation, Henry L. Hillman Foundation and The Pittsburgh Foundation.
“Rental assistance is an essential component of an eviction prevention program” said Jane Downing, Senior Program Officer, The Pittsburgh Foundation. “We’re glad Housing Court can help keep tenants in their homes and access back rent owed to the landlord.”
Program administrators will work with households to determine program eligibility, coordinate inspections with the URA, make payments to the landlords and/or lien holders, and perform at least three follow-up visits to the households to ensure continuing housing stability.
The URA will contract with the administrators and reimburse them for costs incurred on a per household basis. Once they are awarded a contract, households/applicants will be referred to the program through PA 211 Southwest, powered by the United Way of Southwestern PA.
Anyone within the City of Pittsburgh limits seeking rent, mortgage or utility assistance should contact PA 211 Southwest, powered by the United Way of Southwestern PA resource hotline by simply dialing 2-1-1. Language translation is available upon calling.
See City and County Rent Assistance Programs here.
On April 23, 2020, the URA released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for HSP program administrators. The URA received 16 responses to the RFP totaling $5,223,750 in requests. Currently, the URA is allocating $4,010,000 of HSP related funds.
The URA is the City of Pittsburgh's economic development agency, supporting the City’s economic development goals, which are designed to create a city of inclusive opportunity for residents, stakeholders, and communities. The URA is committed to creating more housing that is affordable to the average Pittsburgher; encouraging more entrepreneurship and small business development; promoting inclusive growth and quality job creation; expanding neighborhood and main streets revitalization efforts; and developing a talented workforce that is equipped with the skills of the future.