Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund

Expanding Housing Opportunities & Revitalizing Neighborhoods

Homelessness Prevention Programs

The Housing Trust Fund allocates funding to the Office of Supportive Housing (OSH) to support five programs that prevent homelessness by keeping families and individuals in their homes or helping them move from homelessness into a home. These programs combine outreach, financial assistance and supportive services to provide a continuum of care for Philadelphians who either are homeless or at  risk of becoming homeless. Trust Fund resources have prevented 6,221 individuals in 2,548  households from experiencing homelessness. The cost to have placed these persons in emergency shelter would have been nearly $29.5 million, compared to the HTF program cost of $6.8 million.*

1. Housing Retention Program
The Housing Retention Program provides emergency assistance for low-income households in danger of becoming homeless due to foreclosure, eviction or utility shutoff.

2. Homeless Diversion Program
Between October 2007 and June 30, 2009, 50 homeless families participated in the 18-month Diversion Program. They received rental subsidies and had a case manager Homeless Prevention assist them in finding employment and procuring stable housing. Upon completion of the program most participants either signed a lease with the landlord to whom they had been assigned or found other private market housing; only two households returned to OSH emergency housing.

3. Rental Assistance Program
Trust Fund dollars are providing three years of rental assistance to families moving out of transitional housing who require additional time and supportive services to achieve independence. For each participant the proportion of rent paid increases as he or she progresses through the program until, at the end of the three years, each participant is paying his or her entire rent.

4. Pathways to Housing Program
Trust Fund resources subsidize the rents of mentally ill, chronically homeless men and women in supportive housing. In this “housing first” model Pathways to Housing uses outreach teams to engage individuals living on the street, helps them to move into privately owned rental housing, and provides support services to assist them with independent living.

5. Utility Emergency Services Fund
The Trust Fund supports grants to low-income families in danger of having their utilities shut off.

6. Utility Arrearage Assistance Program
The Trust Fund has provided assistance to households living in transitional housing for whom utility arrearages posed a significant obstacle to obtaining permanent housing.

*Savings based on median length of stay in emergency housing and estimated per diem cost per person.


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