The Homelessness in PA is a Problem.
In 2013, nearly 16,000 Pennsylvanians were counted as being unsheltered, 34,9591 used the homeless system and 24,504 homeless children and youth received services from Pennsylvania school districts.
In Pennsylvania, one would have to work 81 hours/week making $7.25/hr (minimum wage) in order to afford a modest 1 bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent.
An average renter would have to make $18.27/ hour to afford an average 2 bedroom apartment in Pennsylvania. The average renter wage is $13.80/hr. To learn more about the issue visit here.
The number of affordable and available homes for the lowest income residents in PA is on the decline.
There is a shortage of 277,000 rental homes that are both affordable and available to people living on about $22,000 a year or less.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia recently released a report on the state of housing in Pennsylvania. The report documents that unmet affordable housing needs are concentrated among the poorest of the poor in Pennsylvania. Click here for more details from the report.
The shortage of affordable homes is a hidden driver in Pennsylvania’s structural deficit.
If we want to reduce these costs, we must make sure people are well housed.
We can now do that with the passage of Act 58- which expanded the State Housing Trust Fund.
Reduce Medical Assistance Expenditures
- A $15,000 home modification keeps a person with disabilities out of a nursing home, saving $45,000/year.
- Permanent supportive housing reduces Medical Assistance, emergency shelter, and criminal justice costs by as much as 75% for formerly homeless individuals.
Reduce Corrections Expenditures
- Housing people in prison past their parole date because they have no place to go costs $100/day versus $25/day for supportive housing.
- People released from prison with a stable home are 2½ times less likely to be rearrested than those without a home.
Reduce Education Expenditures
- Lead poisoning causes irreversible brain damage and other life-long health problems, costing Special Education and Medical Assistance expenditures.
- Children who move frequently fall behind in school, needing more Education resources. 24,504 homeless children and youth received services from PA school districts last year.