An Update on HDC Operations from our President & CEO

To Our Partners, Supporters, and Friends 

I write to you today to share an update on HDC’s work and mission during this time of national crisis. HDC MidAtlantic is no different that many organizations and businesses right now:  the last few weeks have presented tremendous challenges to our organizational operations.  I am humbled to lead an amazing team that has demonstrated an unwavering commitment and continues to push through with strength and compassion to meet the needs of our residents and communities.   This support extends beyond our employee as HDC’s Board of Directors, our funders, and investors have proven as committed as ever to advance our mission of creating, preserving and strengthening affordable housing communities.   

Upon understanding the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, HDC acted swiftly to ensure the health and safety of our residents and employees and immediately created a plan for the continuity of operations, taking into account the evolving  guidance from federal, state, and local health officials. Our work in managing affordable housing and providing services to residents is considered an essential, life-sustaining business in all three states across our footprint – Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland.  We implemented an action plan to modify business practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and keep our employees and residents safe.  This included the cancellation of all resident group activities, eliminating in-person interactions, have nonessential personnel working remotely, and initiating enhanced cleaning protocols for all HDC communities.  Even with these operational limitations, the core of our mission to provide affordable housing and support our residents remains fully operational. 

We are working hard to position ourselves to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization and to create financial stability now.  We are actively finding ways to eliminate non-essential spending, restructuring positions for greater efficiencies, placing a hiring freeze on open positions and reducing or eliminating expenditures on consultants.   We have also completed stress-testing of our portfolio to identify residents and communities at the highest risk of rental income loss.  We are proactively reaching out to residents to see how they are doing and where we can be of assistance.  We are reaching out to our partners and investors for their flexibility and creativity, helping us implement mitigation strategies to weather this storm in the coming months.  And we are completely overwhelmed by our corporate donors and friends who, despite the cancellation of our annual fundraiser, shared that we can keep their contribution.   This is so impactful and now more than ever, we will need to work harder and redouble our efforts with friends and funders to help mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19. 

What does all of this mean for over 5,000 residents living in our 58 housing communities? It means things will get harder as we know the most vulnerable populations will be most adversely impacted.  Many of our residents will struggle to pay rent, to stay healthy, and to make basic ends meet to support themselves and their families. Truth be told, this struggle existed before COVID-19, but HDC has always been and will continue be there for our residents and those in need of affordable housing.  

For any resident who cannot pay rent on time, they will enroll in our eviction prevention program to ensure housing stability and connect them to various services and benefits to assist with longer-term financial capability.   We have also made sure our food distribution programs hosted at many of our housing communities remain open to serve not only our residents, but the community at-large.   And we are ramping up advocacy efforts at the state and federal levels to support policies and programs that help our residents, communities and the affordable housing industry, both in short-term with stimulus programs and in the long term with systemic change. 

I am heartened by the resilience and compassion of our residents, the nimbleness, skillfulness, and open-heartedness of our employees, and the outstanding stewardship of our Board of Directors.  I have faith that together, we can move through this crisis and be stronger in the end.   

Above all, we remain steadfast in our vision of creating a world where a safe, welcoming, affordable place to call home is available to everyone.  And we know that you will be there right beside us – now and for whatever the future may bring.  

Your support, friendship, and partnership mean so much to us! 

With gratitude and hope, 

 

 

 

Dana Hanchin

President & CEO

HDC MidAtlantic Implements Additional Protocol to Mitigate COVID-19 Exposure

LANCASTER, PA – Beginning March 17, HDC MidAtlantic (HDC) is increasing its mitigation strategies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19at the organization’s corporate office in Lancaster (PA), and each of its 58 housing communities. These steps are being taken in order to continue essential operations and provide critical services to our residents at this unprecedented time, while working to protect the health and safety of all employees and residents.  HDC has modified its business operations to a “Remote Work” strategy for non-essential personnel at our Corporate Office and for essential personnel working onsite at our affordable housing communities, we are limiting our business operations to critical and essential duties.

HDC’s understands that in this time of uncertainty many households may face financial hardship in the coming weeks. HDC remains committed to working with residents to ensure housing stability, advocating for their needs, and partnering to provide access to resources for households to utilize an array of supportive services. We recognize these commitments are as important now as ever, and have implemented a COVID-19 action plan keeping as many services and resources available as possible.

The increased protocol taking effect March 17 at all HDC housing communities, includes but is not limited to:

  • Practicing social distancing protocols by limiting in-person meetings and conducting business by phone or email
  • Canceling all resident activities and events, with the exception of food distribution programs
  • Strongly discouraging outside guests and vistors to the community
  • Limit maintenance to performing enhanced cleaning onsite, emergency and health and safety work orders only
  • Offering assistance to those may be struggling to pay rent through HDC’s Eviction Prevention Program
  • Implementing protocol established for resident welfare checks for highest risk individuals

These strategies are part of HDC’s holistic action plan to monitor and reduce the risk of exposure and infection for our employees and residents, and follow guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health officials across the footprint of our operations.

We will post any further updates on our website and on social media.

About HDC:

HDC MidAtlantic envisions a world where a safe, welcoming, affordable place to call home is open to everyone. Since 1971, HDC has been working to provide housing that is safe and affordable to those with lower incomes, focusing on seniors, families, and individuals living with disabilities. Serving over 5,000 residents in 58 communities located in urban, suburban and rural areas across Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, HDC builds hope and opportunity for all residents to reach their full potential by creating, preserving, and strengthening affordable housing communities.

Contact: Chad Martin, 717-291-1911 x8028, cmartin@hdcweb.com