The Foundation for Delaware County is launching a new program, HOPE, to provide housing assistance.
The Housing Opportunities Program for Equity (HOPE) will assist with case management, placement, tenant rights education, financial literacy, referral services and direct financial relief.
It will also conduct housing policy advocacy.
The new program builds upon the foundation’s existing Housing Stability Program.
HOPE Director Named
Jordan Casey, Esq. has been named director of the HOPE program.
“It is a very special honor for me to be able to serve as the inaugural director for the HOPE program,” said Jordan Casey. “Poor housing leads to poor health. The opportunity to access quality housing free from health harming conditions is not evenly distributed across Delaware County.
“People of color and people with low-income are disproportionately impacted by these defective homes and they deserve better. The HOPE program will work toward reversing this inequity and improving the state of housing in Delaware County for everyone, regardless of race or income.”
Casey was a staff attorney for the Health, Education & Legal Assistance Project: A Medical-Legal Partnership (HELP:MLP).
As staff attorney, he worked directly with the foundation’s Healthy Start and Nurse-Family Partnership participants on housing issues.
He is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council.
He also serves on the Delaware County Lead Poisoning Prevention Coalition, the Delaware County Continuum of Care – Governing Board, and is Vice President of the Board of Directors of Housing Equality Center of Pennsylvania.
Casey also helped edit and author sections in the “Know Your Rights as a Renter in Pennsylvania,” published by the Housing Equality Center of Pennsylvania in 2018.
Why is The HOPE Program needed?
Having a home that is safe and devoid of physical hazards is essential for good health. When families are dealing with a leaky roof, mold in their home or rent insecurity, it can be impossible to focus on a healthy pregnancy and other family demands.
Delaware County has the second highest Black/White residential segregation among all ranked counties in the Commonwealth.
It also has the second highest non-White/White segregation. This inequity significantly impacts communities of color by reducing housing opportunity, widening the healthful housing gap, and impacting the housing stability and educational opportunities of Delaware County’s children.
According to County Health Rankings Delaware County has the sixth highest rate of severe housing problems among counties in Pennsylvania and the fifth highest rate of severe housing costs:
• 16% of Delaware County households experience at least one of these housing problems: overcrowding, high housing costs, lack of kitchen facilities or lack of plumbing facilities.
• 15% of households spend 50% or more of their household income on housing.
While housing insecurity and conditions were exacerbated and worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, the inequities associated with healthful affordable housing are not new and will certainly persist if systemic improvements are not made now.
About The Foundation for Delaware County
A public charity founded in 2016, The Foundation for Delaware County is the largest philanthropy serving Delaware County.
The foundation encourages philanthropy by providing efficient giving vehicles to generous individuals who want to have an impact in Delaware County and beyond. It also serves as a convener to address challenging community issues such as the need for a county health department.
The foundation recently distributed more than $2.1M in Impact Grants and $1M from its Delaware County COVID-19 Response Fund.
To learn more, visit the foundation on the web at www.delcofoundation.org and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @DelcoFdn.