Stefano, Pittman and Senate Committees Receive Update on Veteran Homelessness in PA

Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee and Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee members heard from a veteran experiencing challenges who has benefitted from the support offered by the Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard. Seated at table: Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-21); Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-37); Nathan Silcox executive director for Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32); Sen. Stefano; Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41); Sarah Stauffer, executive director for Sen. Pittman; and Sen. Nikil Saval (D-1).

HARRISBURG – Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32), chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, and Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41), chair of the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee, hosted a joint hearing to learn about the progress made to combat veteran homelessness, as well as what improvements can still be made.

Testifiers explained that a strong collaboration between federal, state and community partners is critical to most effectively help veterans – particularly when they have circumstances that present unique challenges like being responsible for a larger family or a pet.

“Housing instability affecting the older veteran population, women veterans or veterans caring for children, and veterans who have a companion animal, need to be considered when developing plans for emergency shelter beds, transitional housing, and creating more affordable, accessible housing,” said Brig. Gen. Maureen Weigl, Deputy Adjutant General for Veterans Affairs, Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Other testifiers highlighted struggles including not having DD-214 papers for veterans, which delays being able to connect veterans with services and programs that are designated for them, and the income cutoff for those services being too low.

One example of a community program to help veterans is Veterans Place on Washington Boulevard in Pittsburgh, which provides a safe haven where veterans can continue their recovery from chronic mental illness.

“Today, we heard about the great work being done at Veterans Place on Washington Boulevard, as well as other ways groups are trying to help veterans, including tiny homes and faith-based counseling. A lot is being done for the benefit of our veterans, and it’s important to get the word out so they know about the services available to assist them in moving forward in their life,” Stefano said.

“While we heard some stories about despair, we also heard incredible stories from veterans who were struggling but got the help that we’re here to highlight today. Hearing how dedicated they are to doing the work to help others who are experiencing the same issues was truly inspirational,” Pittman said.

 

CONTACT:    Nathan Silcox, 717-787-7175 (Stefano’s office)

                         Sarah Stauffer, 717-787-8724 (Pittman’s office)

Joint public hearing on efforts to address veterans homelessness

Urban Affairs and Housing Committee and Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee

Tuesday, July 26, 2022 | 10:30 a.m. 

Veterans Place
945 Washington Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15203


AGENDA

Public hearing on veterans homelessness

SCHEDULE

10:30 am: Call to Order and Opening Remarks

  • Senator Pat Stefano, Chair – Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee
  • Senator Joe Pittman, Chair – Urban Affairs & Housing Committee
  • Senator Nikil Saval, Minority Chair – Urban Affairs & Housing Committee
  • Senator Katie Muth, Minority Chair – Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee

10:40 am: Panel #1: State & County Government Entities

11:40 am: Panel #2: Western PA Regional Entities

1:20 pm: Closing Remarks and Adjournment

MEDIA ADVISORY: Thursday, April 14 – Public Hearing on Housing Issues

The Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee will hold a public hearing on April 14, 2022, in Kittanning, Armstrong County, to collect testimony from local community members about housing issues, blight, deferred maintenance and land banks, according to Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41) who chairs the committee.

This hearing follows a public hearing held by the committee on April 7 in Philadelphia, during which the committee heard testimony from two panels of representatives of local organizations focused on blight prevention and response; property repair and maintenance; and greenspace, community gardens, land banks and property development.

Those scheduled to speak to the committee during the April 14 hearing include Andrew Laddusaw,  Senior Pastor of the Living Water Church; Julie Fitzpatrick, executive director of Pennsylvania Downtown Center; Jason Tigano, executive director of LEVEL; Marc Little, president of Emery Construction Services; LuAnn Zak – assistant director of the Indiana County Office of Planning and Development; Brigid Beatty, program manager of the Armstrong County Department of Planning and Development; Brian Lawrence, executive director of the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland (RACW) and Westmoreland County Land Bank.

WHAT: Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee public hearing on housing issues.

WHEN: 10 a.m., Thursday, April 14, 2022

WHERE: Living Water Church, located at 629 Woodward Avenue, Kittanning, PA 16201

HEARING LIVESTREAM: https://urbanaffairs.pasenategop.com/urban-041422/

 

Contacts:          Sarah Stauffer               sstauffer@pasen.gov

Public hearing on housing issues

Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee

Thursday, April 14, 2022 | 10 a.m.

Living Water Church, Kittanning, Armstrong County


Agenda

Public hearing on housing issues

Schedule

10:00 am: Opening Remarks
• Senator Joe Pittman, Chair – Urban Affairs and Housing Committee
• Senator Nikil Saval, Minority Chair

10:15 am: Panel #1: Community Organizations Blight Prevention and Response
• Andrew Laddusaw – Senior Pastor of the Living Water Church – Testimony
• Julie Fitzpatrick – Executive Director of Pennsylvania Downtown Center – Testimony
• LEVEL: Equity Buildings 
         o Jason Tigano – Executive Director of LEVEL – Testimony
         o Marc Little – President of Emery Construction Services

11:00 am: Panel #2: County Agencies Blight Prevention and Response
• LuAnn Zak – Assistant Director of the Indiana County Office of Planning and
Development – Testimony
• Brigid Beatty – Program Manager of the Armstrong County Department of Planning and
Development – Testimony
• Brian Lawrence – Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of the County of
Westmoreland (RACW) and Westmoreland County Land Bank – Testimony

11:45 am: Closing Remarks and Adjournment

Meeting to consider SB 297, SB 811 and HB 581

Urban Affairs and Housing Committee

Wednesday, March 30, 2022 | 10:00 a.m.

Room 461, Main Capitol Building

Agenda

Meeting to consider SB 297, SB 811 and HB 581

Schedule

  • SB 297 – Argall – Amends Title 53 to eliminate spot appeals of property assessments.
  • SB 811 – Fontana – Amends the Municipal Claim and Tax Lien Law (MCTLL) to grant Cities and Counties of the Second Class the ability to acquire property at sheriff sales.
  • HB 581 – Solomon – Creates the Affordable Housing Unit Tax Exemption Act to allow local governments the option of abating property taxes to encourage the development of affordable housing.
    • A03763 – Pittman – Technical amendment to correct section numbering and
      requires all local taxing authorities to participate in one of the program options
      before the program can be implemented.