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Applications in Philadelphia open later this month. Gettyimages
Applications in Philadelphia open later this month. Gettyimages

Relief coming for renters affected by COVID-19 in Pennsylvania

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide assistance to an expanded number of renters and landlords financially impacted by COVID-19.

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An expanded rental assistance program is set to help thousands of Philadelphia-area renters and landlords affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal government allocated $97 million toward the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in Philadelphia and $569 million statewide for housing relief more broadly. Applications in Philadelphia open later this month.

Countless families in the city have lost some or all of their income due to the effects of the pandemic on their communities and the larger economy. This assistance is set to alleviate some of the fears from scheduled to expiration of the federal eviction freeze on March 31. 

Unlike previous attempts to assist renters who had fallen behind on payments, this program was designed by the governor and the Pennsylvania legislature to be easier to access.

“The Wolf Administration, through the [Department of Human Services], worked with the General Assembly to design this program with the challenges of the previous model in mind,” spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Erin James said to Billy Penn.

The conditions for applying for the emergency assistance are:

  1. A household income at or below 80% of the Area Mean Income;
  2. Qualifying for unemployment benefits or having experienced a reduction of household income or financial hardship due to COVID-19; and 
  3. Being at risk of homelessness or housing instability.

 

Tenants and landlords can apply, with payments going to the landlord in most cases. For individuals filing for assistance with past-due utility bills, the assistance will go directly to the provider company.

The city application portal is currently accepting pre-registration from landlords. Additional eligible candidates will be allowed to apply later this month.

For more information, go to https://phlrentassist.org/about-phase-4/

 

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