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Housing


Jul 28

City Assisting Homeless Residents in the Community

Posted on July 28, 2016 at 11:17 am by Dawn Corrigan

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.
Jun 14

TBRA Program Summary

Posted on June 14, 2016 at 4:38 pm by Dawn Corrigan

Between October 2013 and June 2016, Pensacola Housing, in conjunction with EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless (ECOH), administered a Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program (TBRA) to house homeless residents of the metropolitan Pensacola area and Escambia County, using HOME funds allocated by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC).

ECOH, which served as the referring agency, referred 47 families to Pensacola Housing, of whom 37 leased up in rental units using TBRA vouchers.

The program guidelines specified that qualified families would be eligible for 12 months of rental assistance, with the possibility of renewing for a second 12-month period. Approximately 40% of the assisted families received 12 months of rental assistance; the other 60% were subsidized for 24 months.

As Mary 7each family neared the end of the TBRA assistance period, Pensacola Housing Counselor Mary Nathan (pictured right) worked with them to ensure they would not revert to homelessness. She encouraged them to apply for the Section 8 waiting list; 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; and, when necessary, referred the families back to ECOH for additional counseling.

Of the 37 assisted families:

• 1 family reached self-sufficiency after 15 months of TBRA assistance and graduated from the program;

• 1 reached the top of Area Housing Commission’s waiting list and moved into a public housing unit;

• 2 are in the process of transitioning to first-time homeownership;

• 3 reached the top of Pensacola Housing’s waiting list and transitioned to traditional Section 8 vouchers; and

• 11 are on the waiting list, and expected to reach the top in the next 3 to 10 months, depending on their application dates.

Overall we felt the program was a huge success, and we look forward to collaborating with ECOH again in the future.
Jun 08

Pensacola Housing's HUD-VASH Program Receives New Vouchers

Posted on June 8, 2016 at 5:38 pm by Dawn Corrigan

In June, the Pensacola Housing Office was awarded 25 additional HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In partnership with the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System, Pensacola Housing now has 182 vouchers available to assist homeless veterans and their families. 

The City was awarded its first allocation of 35 HUD-VASH vouchers in 2008 and, in partnership with the VA, has steadily expanded the program to continue addressing veterans' needs in the community.

Program assistance begins with the VA determining the veteran’s eligibility, and then making a referral to the Housing Office. Pensacola Housing provides the veteran with rental assistance, which pays a portion of the family's rent directly to the landlord, while the VA provides the veteran with case management and clinical services.

The VASH program is available to serve low-income, homeless veterans and their families. If you know someone who fits these criteria and is in need of assistance, please contact Marsha Bazinet of the Pensacola Housing Office at (850) 858-0312 or mbazinet@cityofpensacola.com.