(Philadelphia, PA – November 19, 2019)—The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) will expand it service to people with disability, thanks to a $633,000 grant from the U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant award will allow the housing authority to serve 74 people through the Mainstream Voucher Program (also known as Section 8). Philadelphia has the highest rate of disability among large U-S cities. “We’re thrilled to receive this award from HUD and help more people with disability to live independently,” said PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah. “This is the second time that HUD has recognized us with a grant for Mainstream vouchers. The first grant was received last year which was 99 vouchers so that’s 173 new vouchers in the last year alone!”
Jeremiah added that these two most recent grants are in addition to the 120 Mainstream vouchers PHA already administers. With this new award, PHA now has 293 vouchers to assist this underserved population. Mainstream program vouchers enable families having a person with disabilities to lease affordable private housing of their choice. Mainstream program vouchers also assist persons with disabilities who often face difficulties in locating suitable and accessible housing on the private market.
PHA partners with the City’s Office of Homeless Services and Liberty Resources for tenant referrals for this program and both partners to provide ongoing supportive services to the voucher holders. Sixteen percent of all Philadelphians—roughly 246,000 people—had a physical, emotional, or cognitive disability in 2016 according to the Census Bureau.
A disability is defined by the Census Bureau as “a long-lasting physical, mental, or emotional condition that can make it difficult for a person to do activities such as walking, climbing stairs, dressing, bathing, learning, or remembering; it can also impede a person from being able to go outside the home alone or to work at a job.