RHLS Adopts New Strategic Plan

RHLS’s Board of Directors has adopted a new strategic plan for 2018-2021. The Board and Staff were actively engaged in thinking through where RHLS has been, what it is currently doing, and where it wants to go. We have created an ambitious plan that has us broadening the focus of our work to better serve low-income and vulnerable Pennsylvanians: health & housing and equity.

Further, recognizing that housing and community development in the United States is historically intertwined with questions of equity—especially racial equity—RHLS intends to expand its existing work to increase meaningful housing and community choices for low-income households.

Housing is increasingly considered a significant social determinate of health. As such, RHLS will use our extensive experience in housing and community development to add real value to those seeking to address housing from the health perspective. We know that the housing and health worlds are very different, but we are committed to learning more about health and working at the intersection of these two issues.

Most importantly, RHLS will press on with the affordable housing work that we have done for decades. It is the core of who and what we are. We look forward to using this work as the foundation that will enable us to bring value to the health and equity priority areas.

Look out for updates on social media and via the RHLS email list as the plan takes shape.

Read the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan


Evicted for Calling 911? How Advocates Can Fight Back.

A domestic violence survivor comes to you with an eviction notice. The reason? Multiple 911 calls. In other words, the survivor suffered abuse at home and called for help. How do you make sure they aren’t improperly evicted?

If your client lives in a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) property, there are protections under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), but enforcement isn’t always automatic. This post teaches you: 1) how to identify LIHTC units; 2) the VAWA rights for persons in LIHTC units; and 3) first steps to take if you are seeing a systemic problem. Continue reading “Evicted for Calling 911? How Advocates Can Fight Back.”

PULP Seeking Attorney/Fellow

PULP is seeking an attorney/fellow who desires to make a significant contribution to the well-being of low-income households for a 1-2 year fellowship beginning in July 2017.  Applicants must be licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania or sitting for July 2017 Pennsylvania Bar Exam.    Read the full announcement.

Supportive Housing Pre-Summit; Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

Vulnerable populations have extra challenges in securing safe, decent, and affordable housing; many of them need additional supports.  Recognizing this challenge, RHLS is focusing on efforts to affordable housing for vulnerable populations. The unique value RHLS brings to the table is as clear in this work as anywhere.

We’ve already successfully worked with others to advocate for increased funding for supportive housing development in Pennsylvania (see last link in list below for more information). Now, we’re joining with allies to take on challenges tied to providing affordable, supportive housing for youth aging out of foster care. In addition to providing legal counsel on a first of its kind transaction in Pennsylvania (read more), RHLS is helping to raise awareness and interest in the special housing needs of youth aging out of foster care. Scroll down for materials you can download.

Youth aging out of foster care have significantly higher risks of homelessness, pregnancy, involvement in the justice system and lower rates of high school and college completion than youth who have not gone through the foster care system. For them, stable affordable housing is critical.


On May 29th, RHLS co-hosted the Supportive Housing Pre-Summit to the National Summit on Youth Aging Out of Foster Care.

One speaker, Larry Swanson, the Executive Director of ACTION-Housing  in Pittsburgh was on hand to discuss a first-in-the state project that is under construction in Pittsburgh. The Uptown Lofts is a design award-winning development that will have two buildings — one designated entirely for youth aging out of foster care.

Download materials from the event: