HUD is a government agency that provides housing assistance and makes sure that everyone has access to “fair and equal” housing. Every state has local offices. HUD offers many programs including education about homeownership, home improvements, rental assistance, and help with housing discrimination, just to name a few. Learn more at https://www.hud.gov/states/pennsylvania/renting/hawebsites.
PHFA helps both renters and homebuyers find affordable housing. PHFA also has a program to help people with disabilities who are first-time homebuyers. PHFA has a network of non-profit housing counseling agencies across Pennsylvania that assist with free counseling services. A housing counselor can help you work through your money map, assess your housing needs, and create a plan of action so you can reach your goal. Check out the Hot Topics section at https://www.phfa.org/mhp/serviceprovider/ to locate resources in your county.
RHLS is a nonprofit law firm with the mission to create housing and economic opportunity in under-served communities in Pennsylvania. RHLS has a program called Pennsylvania Utility Law Project (PULP) to help people with low income connect to and maintain affordable utility and energy services within their homes. Learn more at www.rhls.org or call 215-572-7300.
SDHP is a statewide nonprofit organization which promotes self-determination and control in housing for people with disabilities and older adults in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. SDHP’s educational programming includes the Prepared Renter Education Program (PREP) which is offered in a train-the-trainer format to agencies and their staff. PREP’s primary objective is to help advocates and case workers educate their client(s) on how to prepare for a successful rental experience. PREP covers important housing topics including: preparing to rent, the search for housing, working with a landlord, how to be a good tenant and neighbor, and strategies for successfully maintaining housing. For more information, visit www.sdhp.org or call 610-873-9595.
PALawHelp.org connects to all the statewide legal service organizations and also has a good listing of statewide legal assistance resources.
HECPA is focused on fair housing and has extensive educational resources at www.equalhousing.org. Their booklet Know Your Rights as a Renter in Pennsylvania is full of important and helpful information for anyone who is considering renting a home.
The USDA provides homeownership opportunities to rural Americans, and home renovation and repair programs. USDA also provides financing to seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income rural residents in multi-unit housing complexes to ensure that they are able to make rent payments. Learn more at https://www.usda.gov/topics/rural/housing-assistance.