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05/18/2024 02:03 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: September 5, 2023 04:35 PM
From: Representative Joe Webster
To: All House members
Subject: Examining “Housing First” Policies to Support Unhoused Pennsylvanians

Lack of housing affects thousands of Pennsylvanians, including children, veterans, and those struggling with treatable issues. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, cities across the United States have struggled to adequately support people who are unhoused. Part of the difficulty is that our shelter systems have significant limitations and drawbacks. It is time to explore new alternatives.
My resolution tasks the Joint State Government Commission with exploring “Housing First” policies as a less-expensive and more-successful alternative to the traditional shelter system. Housing First policies place an emphasis on providing permanent housing. A permanently housed person is more able to find and maintain jobs and address underlying factors and conditions that contribute to homelessness. It also focuses on individual choice, believing that the ability to choose housing and to participate in programs that support permanent housing stability and overall well-being increases the success of individuals during and after the program. Places like Houston, Texas and California have already implemented Housing First, and it is time to see if this could be a beneficial option for Pennsylvania.
All Pennsylvanians deserve safe, clean, and affordable housing, and we owe it to our constituents to identify the best approaches available on such a vital issue. I hope you are willing to work with me and examine new approaches to help Pennsylvanians who are unhoused or are at risk of losing their home. Please co-sponsor my resolution to study Housing First policies and their potential benefit for Pennsylvania.

Introduced as HR230