Disabled citizens get new housing opportunities
PHILADELPHA, PA (October 25, 2001) -- The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has won approval to add 200 more units of housing for non-elderly disabled residents. PHA's request to provide additional housing for the disabled was approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). PHA Executive Director Carl R. Greene made the announcement today.

The approval allows PHA to provide 200 Section 8 vouchers to non-elderly disabled residents who are on waiting lists of housing developments that are designated by HUD as "elderly only." PHA's survey of the waiting lists of four developments in Philadelphia that are designated as "elderly only" turned up 238 non-elderly disabled residents who faced a lengthy waiting period due to HUD quotas mandating a high percentage of senior residents in the properties.

The 238 non-elderly disabled residents are now being contacted by PHA to assess their specific needs and recruit them for participation in the program. PHA has assigned five service representatives to assist participants with locating units with needed accessibility features. In addition, PHA is working with non-profit organizations and local agencies to facilitate supportive services and to locate resources. A list of organizations that provide various resources to the disabled will be distributed to each resident.

"This is an important step in providing quality housing opportunities for those citizens that for too long have found the door closed to affordable and accessible housing," said Greene. "The 200 hundred additional vouchers are a valuable addition to our efforts to address the critical shortage of housing for Philadelphia's disabled citizens."

Congressman Robert Brady (D-Pennsylvania), a partner in PHA's efforts and a leader in improving housing opportunities for disabled citizens said, "PHA made a good case to HUD about the seriousness of the housing shortfall in Philadelphia, and about the steps necessary to help address it. I will continue to work in my capacity with PHA, HUD and other community leaders to identify further housing opportunities for our disabled citizens."

PHA is Pennsylvania's largest landlord and continues to be nationally recognized for its innovations in public housing. It has the proud distinction of being the first housing authority in America to be designated by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) of the National Association of Realtors as an "Accredited Management Organization." This designation is awarded to firms engaged in property management, which have met IREM's high standards in the areas of education, experience, integrity and financial stability.

PHA is the nation's fourth largest public housing agency serving more than 70,000 residents through conventional and scattered site public housing and Section 8 programs.