Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is a crisis Harrisburg cannot ignore.

  • Post-COVID Action Plan
    • LOTS of people are going to be evicted when the COVID restrictions are lifted.
      • How many people in Harrisburg are behind on rent?
      • If we’re not ready, the homelessness problem is going to explode.
  • Establish a coalition of housing initiatives that will help a person establish financial responsibility over a period of time and reward them with assistance in buying their first home.
    • Only 27% of city residents own their own homes
  • Proactive Education Initiative
    • We can’t wait for people to come to us; we have to go to where the people are.
      • Partner with non-profit organizations to create a team that goes door-to-door to help residents identify housing problems and offer assistance through existing programs
        • For example, if a senior citizen has a roof that is leaking, they are likely eligible for a USDA grant to get it fixed, but instead of just handing them a huge application they will never complete, the task force works with the resident to fill out and submit the application, then follows through to make sure the project gets done.
        • Partner with local banks to make microloans available for those who don’t qualify for government programs and have bad credit.
      • In addition to available resources, warn residents of predatory lenders and second mortgage schemes that can cause them to lose the ability to maintain their home.
  • Understanding the Problem
    • The four most common housing problems in the city are:
      • lacking a complete kitchen
      • lacking complete plumbing facilities
      • more than one person per room, and 
      • cost burden greater than 30 percent
  • Increase Job Placement and Education Resources for Public Housing Residents
    • The current system of paying more as you earn more creates a cycle where residents cannot afford to move out of public housing without a substantial change in circumstances. We need to break that cycle.
  • Tackle Needs of Public Housing System
    • Improve the quality of assisted housing by improving management, renovate or modernize public housing units, demolish or dispose of obsolete public housing, and allow police officers to occupy public housing units (in accordance with HUD regulations) to improve resident safety.
    • Increase assisted housing choices through voucher mobility counseling, and conducting outreach efforts to potential voucher landlords.
    • Provide an improved living environment by implementing measures to de-concentrate poverty, promote income mixing in public housing, improve security, designate developments/buildings for particular resident groups, assist victims of domestic violence, and continue revitalization efforts at Hoverter Homes.
    • Promote self-sufficiency and asset development of assisted households by providing or attracting supportive services to improve recipient’s employability and increase independence.
    • Ensure equal opportunity and affirmatively furthering fair housing.