HARRISBURG, June 14, 2022 – Projects in the 45th Senate District aimed at expanding housing and preventing homelessness will get a $1.6 million boost from the state, Sen. Jim Brewster announced today.

“Safe and sufficient housing is becoming out of reach for too many in our region,” Brewster said. “These grants will help increase the stock of available and affordable living space for struggling families. I’m proud to work with so many good organizations dedicated to addressing this crisis.”

The funding comes through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) fund. Gov. Tom Wolf named 245 housing and community development initiatives in 67 counties that will share a portion of a total $48.4 million in PHARE funding for fiscal year 2021-22. The PHARE fund is managed by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.

“Too many seniors and young families are being priced out of the market,” Brewster said. “With this program, the money goes where it is needed most and helps our neighbors remain our neighbors.”
A list of the proposals receiving PHARE funding is available at www.phfa.org/legislation/act105.aspx

Funding for 45th district projects was awarded to:

712 Hawkins Avenue, Za’kiyah House Housing Inc

$300,000 to create three affordable housing units in a historic church which will additionally be the future site of programs and services to address homelessness and promote healthy lifestyles. The apartments will be priority housing for individuals facing housing discrimination because of their criminal record or substance use disorder.

Allegheny County Accessibility Program, Allegheny County Economic Development

$200,000 to provide accessible modifications to households in Allegheny County, excluding the City of Pittsburgh, for individuals with low to moderate incomes and at least one permanent physical disability. Allegheny County will provide $100,000 from its Allegheny Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) as 50% matching funds (generated by the Act 137 enabling legislation).

North Hills Affordable Housing, Inc: A Home For Every Family

$200,000 to maintain safe, decent, and affordable housing and resources to vulnerable populations, including transitional and affordable housing. Funds will be used primarily for individuals with children who are working towards economic mobility after surviving domestic violence or other trauma within HEARTHs transitional housing program. The focus of the funding priority is homelessness prevention to assist households below fifty percent (50%) of the median area income.

Housing Connector, The United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania

$200,000 to support the salary of a Housing Connector, who assists people with disabilities to locate and obtain housing that is affordable and accessible. Additionally, two expert housing navigators will offer one-on-one assistance using a custom database created in collaboration with community resources, providing tangible support to make a move possible and help people maintain stable housing.

Homeless Prevention Assistance Program, Westmoreland Human Opportunities, Inc.

$100,000 to provide necessary supports to Westmoreland County residents to prevent homelessness. These supports are accompanied by case management to ensure the assistance will make a lasting impact on the individual or family and provide the tools necessary to help the individual or family reach self-sufficiency.

Morning Sun Senior Lofts, The Westmoreland County Land Bank

$500,000 for adaptive reuse purposes of the former East Vandergrift school building. Work to include interior selective demolition, roof replacement, limited façade restoration, and closure to points of entrance for weather elements.

The SMART Housing Program, Westmoreland Human Opportunities, Inc.

$100,000 to prevent homelessness and provide rapid-rehousing and rental assistance to nine transition-age youth (ages 18-24) who are homeless or at-risk for homelessness. All enrolled youth will receive supportive services from a Peer Support Specialist and Case Manager including assessing educational needs, job skills, financial stability, and transportation needs.