Housing and Sheltering Resources and News

++ The Pennsylvania Insurance Department (PID) has announced that Insurance Commissioner Michael Humphreys, as Chair of the Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force (the Task Force), is seeking public input on the accessibility and affordability of flood insurance throughout the Commonwealth. The comment period will close on February 5, 2024.  The Task Force will review and analyze existing statutes, procedures, practices, processes, and rules relating to the administration of flood insurance in Pennsylvania, and recommend potential programs that provide premium discounts, programs that incentivize local governments to support flood mitigation efforts, and how to increase the number of people who purchase flood insurance through the national flood insurance program or the private flood insurance marketplace. It was established by Act 22 of 2023.  Public comment on flood insurance may be emailed to [email protected], or comments may be mailed to PID’s Director of Policy and Planning, Office of the Insurance Commissioner, 1326 Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, PA 17120. Comments are requested by February 5.

++ AID in PA is a collaborative effort between ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training) and its subsidiary teams #ASDNext and the Philly Autism Project, the HCQUs (Health Care Quality Units) across the state and Temple University’s department of Disability Resources and Services, all operating under Pennsylvania’s ODP (Office of Developmental Programs).  They have produced trauma-informed sensory positive toolkits for the purpose of informing self-advocates, shelter staff/volunteers, families, caregivers, and Direct Support Professionals (DSP) on how to best support persons with sensory needs, including individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and/or Autism in a disaster shelter setting. These toolkits are available to download, print, and share here.

++ The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is accepting applications. This federally funded program helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service. The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are $21,870 for an individual, $29,580 for a couple and $45,000 for a family of four. Find limits for other family sizes here. Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting their local county assistance office.

++  Sheltering Taskforce Information:  Contact: Christine Heyser – [email protected].  Sheltering Toolkit here:  https://bit.ly/COVID-19ShelteringTaskforce

++ PA DHS is providing an opportunity for emergency managers and VOAD leaders to complete a survey about barriers you might be encountering in disaster recovery related to housing.  PA DHS leadership want to be sure that these concerns are adequately addressed in PADHS’s emerging housing strategy.  Access the survey at https://deloittesurvey.deloitte.com/Community/se/3FC11B261EAA9B6DPlease direct any questions to: [email protected].

++ Pennsylvania is searching for service providers to administer its Multifamily Weatherization Assistance Program. The goal of this program is to provide a cost-effective approach to lowering operating expenses, maintaining affordability, and creating healthier, more comfortable living environments for low-income families living in buildings with five or more units. Interested community action agencies, city government agencies, county government agencies, local housing authorities, local redevelopment authorities, and other public or nonprofit entities are encouraged to apply.  The application period will open at 8:00 am on Monday, January 22, 2024, and will close at 5:00 pm on Thursday, March 21, 2024.  Applicants must apply electronically through the Electronic Single Application for Assistance system located at http://www.esa.dced.state.pa.us.   Learn More Here

++ You can visit www.dhs.pa.gov/masscare to read about mass care in Pennsylvania, disaster feeding,  and to get information about the exercise coming up in May of 2024. You can self-manage your subscriptions PA DHS publications at this site also.