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04/23/2024 10:40 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 6, 2023 10:54 AM
From: Representative Frank Burns
To: All House members
Subject: Creating Public Housing Safety Committees
Public housing is critical for providing affordable and safe housing to low-income Pennsylvanians. However, current policies and practices have resulted in inadequate vetting of individuals seeking public housing in Cambria County, putting the safety and security of our residents at risk, and costing taxpayers millions on families that no longer live in the county.

Residents of Philadelphia are circumventing the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s backlogged waiting list by claiming residency in Johnstown and receiving Section 8 vouchers for the city, only to return to Philadelphia after a short time. Due to federal law, the Johnstown Housing Authority (JHA) still has to foot the bill for the voucher holders when they leave the city. At one point in 2020, the JHA was paying nearly $1.8 million on families that no longer lived in Cambria County.

That is why I plan to introduce legislation that would create Public Housing Safety Committees within each Public Housing Authority in Cambria County. This legislation is a companion bill to similar legislation that has been introduced in the Senate and would vet individuals to determine if they are a threat to public safety. If criminal activity is found, the committee, which will include members representing local law enforcement, must deny admission to the applicant.

I ask that you please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation to save the taxpayer money and keep our communities safe and secure.

Introduced as HB951