Policy & Advocacy

When the world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.Malala Yousafzai

Policy

Each year, the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania recommends to the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the Governor’s office legislative and regulatory fixes to ensure every family in the Commonwealth has a safe, decent, and affordable home and community. Additionally, the Housing Alliance works with numerous national organizations to ensure adequate funding for housing stability services and legislation that promotes housing affordability.

During the 2021-2022 legislative session, the Housing Alliance will actively work with the Pennsylvania General Assembly to
  • Prevent evictions
    • Support and monitor the implementation of any new emergency rental and utility assistance programs to ensure federal funds are fully expended to help renters impacted by COVID-19 as well as landlords who are struggling without reliable rental income
      • Ask the General Assembly to amend Act 1 of 2021 to lengthen dates for the program to align with the American Rescue Plan’s extension of dates
      • Create a new emergency rental program from the American Rescue Plan funds that mirrors guidance from the U.S. Treasury
      • Have the American Rescue Plan funds for homeowner’s assistance pass through to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
      • Develop an emergency rental assistance program to help tenants and landlords after the pandemic as subsided
  • Prioritize affordable housing development and preservation
    • Secure $10 million for the Pennsylvania Housing Tax Credit (Act 107 of 2020)
      • Put $10 million tax credits in the tax code
  • Improve housing infrastructure
    • Prioritize home repair to support homeowners to remain in their homes and age in place as well as to prevent blight
      • Develop a work group to make suggestions on various home repair initiatives
      • Support additional funding for Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund (PHARE) (Act 105 of 2010) and Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program or HEMAP (Act 91)
    • Expand legislation giving local governments more tools to tackle blight
      • Support various legislative efforts to amend existing laws that will ensure local governments can have numerous tools to tackle blight
  • Incentivize collaboration between the housing and health sectors
    • Establish a fully funded Supportive Housing Services benefit within Medicaid to make it possible to use Medicaid dollars for the supportive services component of permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness
      • Develop recommendations for the housing benefit with Medicaid
During the 2021-2022 session of the U.S. Congress, the Housing Alliance will be working with our national partners to
  • Preserve and increase resources for federal affordable housing programs serving extremely low-income families
    • Support additional funding for federal programs
      • Fund $3.3 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants (HAG) programs to fund a variety of services to help people experience homelessness and at risk of homelessness
      • Provide at least $70 billion to preserve and rehabilitate our nation’s public housing infrastructure, make energy-efficient upgrades, and guarantee full funding for public housing in the future.
      • Expand the National Housing Trust Fund to at least $40 billion annually to build and preserve homes affordable to people with the lowest incomes.
      • Provide $185 million to fund the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, known as NeighborWorks America, a congressionally chartered nonprofit that provides financial support, technical assistance, leadership development and training for community-based development in the United States.
      • Support the of Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (introduced as. S.1136 and H.R.2573) and the reintroduction of Eviction Crisis Act (introduced as S. 3030 in 2019)

Policy Council

In 2021, the Housing Alliance began the Policy Council to activate our advocates to champion our policy and legislative agenda and to help us craft strategies and messaging.

Currently, the Policy Council is convening two working groups:

Home Repair Working Group: This group will study ways to increase funds and resources for home repair to help people age in place and then based on the findings, potentially create policy agendas.

Eviction Prevention Working Group: This group will study ways to create an emergency rental assistance program post pandemic.

If you are interested in being a part of either of these workgroups, please contact Brian Fuss, Policy and Program Director at brian@housingalliance.org

Advocacy

The Housing Alliance has a network of thousands who help us meet our policy and legislative agendas. Our success depends on strong advocates throughout the Commonwealth lifting up their voices to ensure everyone Pennsylvanians has a safe, decent, affordable home, extraordinary quality of life, and excellent communities to thrive.