Jul 28

[ARCHIVED] City Assisting Homeless Residents in the Community

The original item was published from July 28, 2016 11:16 am to July 28, 2016 11:17 am

In July 2016, Pensacola Housing received a new allocation of HOME funds from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC), which will be used to support a Housing First initiative that will provide rental assistance for approximately 20 homeless families in the metropolitan Pensacola area and Escambia County.

This initiative is a continuation of a pilot program administered jointly between the City Housing Division and EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless (ECOH) from 2013 to 2016. During the pilot program, ECOH, which served as the referring agency, referred 47 families to Pensacola Housing, of whom 37 leased up in rental units using HOME Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) vouchers.

Families participating in the pilot program were eligible for 12 months of housing assistance, with the option of renewing for one additional year. As the families neared the end of their TBRA assistance period, Pensacola Housing Counselor Mary Nathan worked with them to ensure they would not revert to homelessness. She encouraged them to apply for the Section 8 waiting list and provided referral information for public housing, subsidized multifamily housing, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit properties  (LIHTCs), first-time homebuyer programs, and other affordable housing providers in our area.

At the end of the pilot program, almost half the families had secured a long-term solution to their housing needs. Housing staff was pleased with the outcome of the pilot program, and is looking forward to working with ECOH again on the new initiative.