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Working With Your Public Housing Authority. The Lancaster County Pennsylvania Experience. Our Community. County of 450,000 City of Lancaster: 60,000 person situated in the middle of Lancaster County

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Working With Your Public Housing Authority


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working with your public housing authority

Working With Your Public Housing Authority

The Lancaster County Pennsylvania Experience

our community
Our Community
  • County of 450,000
  • City of Lancaster: 60,000 person situated in the middle of Lancaster County
  • Very diversified population (from very rural Mennonite/Amish communities to a large concentration of Latino’s in the city)
lancaster county pa two housing authorities
Lancaster County, PA:Two Housing Authorities
  • Lancaster County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities
    • 861 Tenant Based Section 8 Vouchers
      • As of January 2006, 714 households on waiting list for voucher
  • Lancaster City Housing Authority
    • 806 Tenant Based Section 8 Vouchers
      • As of January 2006, 508 households on waiting list
    • 566 units of Public Housing
      • 969 on waiting list
local pha partnerships
Local PHA Partnerships
  • Both PHA’s historically have jointly worked together with the social service community
    • Joint contract between both authorities and Tabor Community Services since 2000 to provide Family Self Sufficiency Program
    • Joint contract with Tabor Community Services since 2003 to provide the Section 8 Homeownership Voucher Program
    • These successful relationships were used to build on for larger homeless network
partnering with the lancaster interagency council on homelessness
Partnering with the Lancaster Interagency Council on Homelessness
  • Homeless Preference with both PHA’s
  • Shelter Plus Care: Lancaster City Housing Authority
  • Project Based Section 8 for Supportive Housing Projects
partnering with the lancaster ich homeless preference
Partnering with the Lancaster ICHHomeless Preference
  • Authorities can establish local preferences as part of their administrative plan
  • ICH identified key persons for a joint discussion
    • Both PHA Executive Directors
    • Section 8 Program Coordinators
    • Continuum of Care Chair
    • Tabor Community Services Staff (already established a trust relationship)
homeless preference
Homeless Preference
  • State your case:
    • How will it help the community
    • How you will work together
  • Be realistic about what is doable
    • What is the current overall availability
  • Be aware of their concerns and issues and prepared with viable solutions
    • Who will take what responsibility
  • Build on existing partnerships/programs
    • Gives credibility and trust that it can work
  • Invite them to be part of the larger organization (ICH)
    • Staff are aware of the larger homeless system
a successful preference since june 2001
A Successful Preference since June 2001
  • 20% of all available voucher from both authorities given to homeless persons
  • Referrals must come from pre-approved organizations
  • Referring organization accepts responsibility to verify homeless eligibility and keep referral information current
  • Required one year of follow-up services from referring organization
initial concerns that were addressed
Initial concerns that were addressed
  • Concern: how is this fair to those who are on a waiting list?
    • Solution: Cap of 20%
  • Concern: will this be unmanageable
    • Solution: Set clear guidelines and eligibility
  • Concern: who do we go to with problems?
    • Solution: Establish who is the point person
  • Concern: will this mean more work when we are overworked already?
    • Solution: Referring agencies are responsible to screen for eligibility
  • Concern: what if this doesn’t work?
    • Solution: Regular evaluation/ Good Communication
partnering with the lancaster ich shelter plus care
Partnering with the Lancaster ICHShelter Plus Care
  • 20 Slots available through the City
  • Administered by the PHA
  • Referrals must come from pre-approved agencies who qualify for eligibility
  • Referring Agency is responsible to ensure provision of supportive services
  • Continuum of Care Subcommittee of ICH assists in monitoring the supportive services
  • Meet regularly with PHA to ensure ongoing communication and program continuation
partnering with the lancaster ich project based section 8
Partnering with the Lancaster ICHProject Based Section 8
  • Local continuum has 4 Permanent SHP projects
  • Both PHA’s are providing Project Based Section 8 for the SHP Units
    • 22 County SRO units covered
    • 16 City units (8 SRO, 5 2BR, 3 1BR) under development
lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Start with reasonable partnerships
  • Build on existing relationships
  • Focus on the success of the first partnership to build trust, then continue to build programs/partnerships
  • Service Partners need to take primary responsibility to continue projects
  • Good communication is key
  • Regular review and evaluation on a pre-planned schedule
final thoughts
Final Thoughts
  • Find the win/wins
  • Look for common goals
  • Build good relationships
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
happy partnering
Happy Partnering!!
  • Kay Moshier McDivitt
  • Director of Housing Counseling
  • Tabor Community Services, Inc.
  • 308 East King Street, PO Box 1676
  • Lancaster, PA 17608-1676
  • kmmcdivitt@tabornet.org
  • 717-397-5182, ext 120