Another look at CARES Act spending in Pa.: How health and social programs benefit | The Numbers Racket

The Capitol building in Harrisburg (Capital-Star photo by Sarah Anne Hughes)

Continuing our breakdown from last week, here’s how the rest of Pennsylvania’s $2.6 billion portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds are being appropriated across state agencies and programs. 

Department of Health

$10 million … appropriated to Community-based health care centers. 

  • The funds may only be used to cover necessary COVID-19 related costs not otherwise reimbursed by Federal, State or other sources of funds and must be used for costs incurred between March 1, 2020, and November 30, 2020 

$10 million …  appropriated to Vaccine, Treatment and Therapy Development for Qualified Biotech.

Department of Human Services

$692 million … appropriated to long-term living programs. 

    • The funds are being used: 
  • $175 million … for health collaboratives,
  • $245 millionfor nonpublic and county nursing homes,
  • $140 millionfor personal assistance services,
  • $50 millionfor personal care homes and assisted living residences,
  • $13 millionfor adult day care services,
  • $1 millionfor residential habilitation,
  • $10 millionfor LIFE providers,
  • $50 millionfor Community HealthChoices,
  • $8 million …. for ventilator or tracheostomy providers,

$260 million … appropriated to Intellectual Disabilities/Autism Programs.

$116 million … appropriated to Child Care Services.

  • The funds will be distributed based on the results of a study of the economic impacts of child care closures during the COVID-19 emergency 

$10 million … appropriated to Critical Access Hospitals.

$10 million … appropriated to Domestic Violence Programs.

$10 million … appropriated to Homeless Assistance Services.

$8 million … appropriated to legal services. 

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency

$50 million … appropriated to Fire Company and EMS Grant Program.

  • $44 million for fire companies
  • $6 million for EMS companies

$50 million … appropriated to Health Care System Assistance. 

    • Funds can be used  to acquire medical equipment and supplies for health care entities to meet urgent patient and staff needs to address surge demand — entities include: hospitals, nursing facilities and emergency medical services. 
  • Note: this appropriation reverses the transfer made from various funds to purchase these supplies

Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency 

$175 million … appropriated to Mortgage and Rental Assistance. 

  • No more than $25 million for mortgage relief. 
  • Funds may be used for mortgagors and renters eligible if they became unemployed after March 1, 2020, or their annual household income was reduced by 30 percent or more.
  • Funds are available to landlords, renters, mortgagees and mortgators. 
  • The maximum award for renters is $750 per month, for six months.
  • The maximum award for mortgators is $1,000 per month, for six months.  

Property Tax Relief

Up to $300 million may be appropriated to the Property Tax Relief Fund in order to make the full property tax relief payment to school districts and homeowners as in prior years. 

Cassie Miller
A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.