To help people with mental disabilities discover and achieve their hopes and dreams for a meaningful life in the community.
Transforming communities through the contributions of the people we serve.
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
(PHFA) provides additional housing resources including the PA Affordable
As part of its commitment to providing evidence based, recovery-oriented services for consumers, the Allegheny County Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) developed a housing plan, for people with mental illness and co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse. The plan, called Housing as Home, was approved by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal of the plan is to make 220-240 units of permanent supportive housing available for "priority" consumers within two to three years. Permanent supportive housing (PSH) provides affordable housing linked to supportive services that are available, but not required. PSH is safe and secure, affordable to consumers, and permanent, as long as the consumer pays the rent and follows the rules of their lease. Support services are flexible and optional. In other words, a person doesn’t have to be part of a "program" to keep their housing.
PSH Program Video Introduction
To learn more about about the PSH Program, please Click on the video below.
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Housing As Home
Housing as Home includes comprehensive strategies to develop high-quality, affordable housing. This includes building new housing and leasing housing from landlords.
Strategies to keep housing affordable include rent subsidies, help with applying for Section 8, and contingency funds for security deposits and furniture. The plan also includes a support team to help consumers find housing that meets their preferences. The support team also provides assistance and skill-building for consumers to help them keep their housing. All of the strategies included in Allegheny County’s plan follow examples of other successful programs from around the country.
In early 2006, through a stakeholder-driven review and selection process, Transitional Services, Inc. (TSI) and the Allegheny County Housing Authority (ACHA) were selected to put the housing plan into action.
Each of these organizations was chosen because they demonstrated a great deal of experience with housing issues and working with consumers. Both organizations also have shown the ability to work in partnership with others.
The Allegheny County Housing Authority will focus on developing new housing by working with builders and developers, and using many different funding sources. Transitional Services, Inc. will manage referrals, waiting lists, and the Housing Support Team. It will also expand housing through funding to make rents affordable. The Office of Behavioral Health will oversee both projects.
Who Are The "Priority" Consumers In The County Housing Plan?
An OBH "priority" consumer is defined as an adult resident of Allegheny County with serious mental illness or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorders who currently resides at:
- Mayview State Hospital or Torrance State Hospital,
- an OBH-funded Community Residential Rehabilitation (CRR) program,
- an OBH-funded Long Term Structured Residence (LTSR),
- or Other specialized residential programs as determined by OBH.
What Are The Components Of The Permanent Supportive Housing Project?
TSI will manage the following day-to-day strategies:
Housing Support Team : The Housing Support Team will help consumers find housing, sign leases, move into housing, and develop skills they need to keep their housing.
Project-Based Leasing Fund : TSI will find landlords or housing developers who will lease 60 units to TSI for five years. TSI will lease these units to consumers. Consumers will pay about 30% of their income for rent.
Bridge Subsidy Program : TSI will provide rent assistance for about 100 consumers while they wait for Section 8 vouchers. When consumers begin this program they will need to apply for Section 8, all units will need to pass a Section 8 inspection, and landlords will agree to accept Section 8 vouchers.
Housing Contingency Fund : This fund will help consumers who are moving into permanent supportive housing with one-time necessary costs like security deposits, utility deposits, furniture and household item purchases.
Housing Clearinghouse : The Housing Clearinghouse staff will track the availability of the bridge subsidy and project-based leasing units, manage the waiting list for these units, and keep a library of housing information and housing resources in the County.