Released: September 29, 2022
Delaware County Council Chair Dr. Monica Taylor participated in the "Communities in Action: Building a Better Pennsylvania" event at the White House in Washington, DC on September 29.
Dr. Taylor, who was one of 40 participants, detailed the impact that federal investments are making in Delaware County to White House staff. "Communities in Action: Building a Better Pennsylvania" is part of a new series featuring local elected officials and community leaders discussing their work to create opportunities and improve the lives of the people in the communities they serve.
Dr. Taylor cited the broad impact federal support is having on some of the most important issues facing Delaware County, including key public safety and health programs, creating opportunity for every resident, and long-term investments in the county's infrastructure. Delaware County, with the assistance of the policies and programs of the Biden-Harris Administration, is making rapid progress toward solutions for some of the most important issues facing our county and our residents.
Among the programs Dr. Taylor highlighted:
Expanding Public Health Infrastructure. The 2022 Recovery Plan included $26M to support the establishment and operations of the new Delaware County Health Department (DCHD). Delaware County had been the largest county in Pennsylvania without its own health department to guide decision making and expand access to services.
Increasing the supply of quality, affordable housing. Delaware County is working to increase access to quality, affordable housing by making an initial investment of $750,000 in the Delaware County Redevelopment Authority to institute Blight, Remediation, and Redevelopment programming, creating an ACT 135 Pilot Program to transition commercial and residential properties from being vacant or abandoned hazards into useful, productive community contributors and establishing a land bank to ensure land is being used in the most productive way.
Improving public safety by supporting returning citizens. Delaware County allocated nearly $900,000 in American Rescue Plan funds over two years to fund five non-attorney advocates from Partners for Justice embedded in the Public Defender’s Office as part of an overall plan to reduce jail time and recidivism by addressing the underlying social service needs of the justice-impacted community. The Delaware County Workforce Development Board also received $1.5M in funding from the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration to provide training and employment services to adults reentering the workforce following incarceration at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility.
Creating new jobs. Delaware County was one of 32 awardees selected from over 500 applications, awarded $23M for the “Good Jobs Challenge”. The County is targeting three industry areas: Healthcare/Life Sciences; Construction; and Energy Resiliency.
Supporting every community. With $475,000 of funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Economic Development Initiative (awarded through Community Project Funding), the County is on the cusp of launching the Community Partnering Program, a micro-grant program in the County specifically designed to provide outreach to historically underserved communities by funding projects organized and sustained by neighborhood residents and community groups. The first applications for funding will be reviewed for award in the coming months by a committee led by the County’s first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer.
“Like every community, Delaware County was strongly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Taylor. “With the support of and working in partnership with the Biden-Harris Administration, we are in a position to emerge stronger than ever, address long-overdue and necessary changes, and build a community that works for every Delaware County resident.”