Come Back Strong
In March 2020, the entire Commonwealth shuttered due to the global pandemic, and the systematic racial injustice that occurs in our society met with strong calls for racial equity. The events of 2020 affirmed what the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania already knew. Equity needs to be at the heart of our work. The social safety net needs fixing because currently, it leaves more people without economic means to live in a safe, decent, and affordable house.
At the 16th Annual Homes Within Reach conference, the Housing Alliance committed to not just surviving the pandemic and its consequences but ensuring that the Commonwealth Come Back Strong. As a result, the Housing Alliance developed a framework for engaging everyone throughout Pennsylvania.
- Incorporate the voices of people with lived experience and expertise in all of our initiatives and projects to empower people to make substantial positive changes in their communities.
- Strengthen advocacy that promotes housing as a key to economic success.
- Sustain pathways for advocates in the housing and homelessness sectors to have meaningful conversations.
- Focus on the solutions that will help the Commonwealth and its people thrive.
In 2020, we saw firsthand the importance of advocacy to create a housing system that works for all Pennsylvanians. In the wake of the most severe economic and health crisis of this century, the Housing Alliance of PA and 21 community partners joined together to help vulnerable communities register to vote, often the first step in civic engagement. Come, listen, and be uplifted as four of our partners share their experiences navigating around obstacles to ensure that people with lived experience of housing instability continue to be at the center of all housing priorities in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. Our collective effort to amplify their stories will create broader public support for a more robust housing policy.
Learn about how COVID-19 has impacted the following populations:
As part of the Housing Alliance’s ongoing fidelity to our principles and the framework, we achieved several wins:
- On May 29, 2020, Governor Wolf signed the Fiscal Code-Omnibus Amendment (P.L. 186, No. 24), also known as Act 24 of 2020. This fiscal code amendment allocated the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES Act” federal funds.
- After the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 was signed into law on December 27, 2020, by the president, the Housing Alliance encouraged state lawmakers to make corrections to Act 24 of 2020 with a new statewide program.
- On February 5, 2021, Act 1 of 2021, Fiscal Code-Omnibus Amendments (P.L.1, No. 1) was signed into law by Governor Wolf, implementing the new statewide emergency rental assistance program.
In addition to helping fellow Pennsylvanians by focusing on solutions to help the Commonwealth and its people thrive with the emergency rental assistance program, the Housing Alliance encouraged people from marginalized and vulnerable communities to lift their voices during the 2020 Presidential Election. (Read more).
From the Housing Alliance’s founding, we have worked across all ideological lines, party affiliation, economic strata, and sectors to quickly respond to immediate and emerging needs by supporting common-sense legislation supporting housing as a key to financial success. The Housing Alliance will work tirelessly through 2021 and well into the next decade to ensure the Commonwealth Come Back Strong.