WEST CHESTER (July 10, 2020) – Chester County will receive nearly $500,000 in funding to mitigate the risk of homelessness and prevent homelessness due to the impacts of coronavirus, state Senator Andy Dinniman announced today.

The funding is the first of two allocations of Emergency Solutions Grant CARES Act (ESG-CV) funding provided through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act supplemental appropriation.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted housing opportunities and raised the risk of homelessness for too many Pennsylvanians. As we begin to reopen and recover, we must continue to support some of our most vulnerable friends and neighbors – those who are at risk of losing their homes,” Dinniman said. “These funds will help drive direct support and assistance to Chester Countians in need of stable housing solutions.”

It will go to the Chester County Department of Community and Economic Development to help support homeless individuals and families and address and prevent homelessness in the future through long-term, innovative solutions

Chester County’s ESG-CV funding comes as part of $18.9 million awarded to 27 organizations serving 52 counties across Pennsylvania.

The CARES Act provided for two allocations of homeless assistance funds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or receiving homeless assistance and to support additional homeless assistance and homelessness prevention activities to mitigate the impacts created by coronavirus. Sixty-three percent of funds awarded are targeted to address homelessness prevention, 22 percent to rapidly house those who are homeless and 8.4 percent to provide emergency shelter services and street outreach. The balance of funds awarded address data collection and administration needs.

Applications were accepted from general-purpose units of local government, including cities, boroughs, townships, towns, counties, home rule municipalities, and communities that desire to apply “on behalf of” other municipalities. Local governments may apply “on behalf of” nonprofit organizations. Non-profit organizations can apply only for a regional project as long as it demonstrates a regional need and would serve multiple counties.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), this round of ESG-CV can be used to:

  • Make more emergency shelters available for homeless individuals and families.
  • Operate emergency shelters by providing food, rent, security, maintenance, repair, fuel, equipment, insurance, utilities, furnishings, and supplies necessary for their operation.
  • Provide Hotel/Motel Vouchers for homeless families and individuals.
  • Provide essential services to people experiencing homelessness including childcare, education services, employment assistance, outpatient health services, legal services, mental health services, substance abuse treatment services, and transportation.
  • Prevent individuals from becoming homeless and rapidly rehouse homeless individuals.

This funding announcement comes following news that the governor signed a new executive order that protects homeowners and renters from eviction or foreclosure until Aug. 31, if they have not received assistance from a new program administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) or are not already receiving relief through one of several federal foreclosure moratorium programs or judicial orders. Lenders and property owners that receive funds through the PHFA program agree not to pursue foreclosure or eviction actions as a condition of participation in the program.

The governor previously signed an executive order suspending evictions and foreclosures, which expires Friday. That action followed a Pennsylvania Supreme Court order which closed court eviction proceedings until May 11.

In addition, residents and renters who were financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic can now access applications for rent and mortgage relief through the Housing Authority of Chester County and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.