PHILADELPHIA – Today the City of Philadelphia and PHDC announced an increase in rental assistance from up to$750 per month to up to $1,500 per month for Phase 2 of rental assistance for tenants affected by COVID-19.This increase will automatically apply to tenants that have already applied for Phase 2 funding, as well as all new applicants. PHDC is taking applications until September 30, 2020.
“Our goal throughout the pandemic has been – and continues to be – to keep people in their homes.” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Whether it’s through our rental assistance program, COVID emergency housing sites, or our eviction diversion program, maintaining housing for our most vulnerable residents is critical. This additional CARES Act funding for rental assistance allows us to serve landlords and families struggling to make ends meet. We encourage all eligible Philadelphians facing economic hardship during these challenging times to apply for rental assistance before the end of the month.”
Funding comes to Pennsylvania from the federal CARES Act. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency is distributing funds to each county in the Commonwealth. The $750 per applicant cap is a requirement of the State program, but cities are allowed to increase that amount with local funding. Philadelphia is supplementing this funding with federal CARES Act dollars that went directly to the City.
“With many tenants unable to pay rent, and a federal eviction moratorium in place, it is essential that we help our renters and their landlords to weather the storm,” said Greg Heller, PHDC Senior Vice President of Community Investment. “We hope that this change allows many more landlords and tenants to participate and receive the assistance they need.”
“This increased rental assistance has numerous social, health and economic benefits for tenants, landlords and our City – including reducing evictions and stabilizing landlords, many of whom are small businesses,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke, a longtime advocate on Council for affordable housing for Philadelphians. “In addition, in many cases evictions lead to homelessness, which further burdens our City’s budget as the cost of providing services to the homeless will far exceed any allocation of CARES funds that we put into a program that will help keep tenants in their homes.”
PHASE 2 Program criteria include:
- Applicants must be Philadelphia residents (renters in other counties must apply to their county’s designated organization)
- Landlords and renters must each provide information
- Renters must have lost more than 30% of their income due to reduced work hours/wages because of COVID-19, or have become unemployed after March 1 due to COVID-19
- Renters who applied for PA unemployment assistance must have done so after March 1
- Renters’ income before March 1 must be no more than 100% of the area median income, or $87,000 for a family of three (the income limit for Phase 1 was 50% of AMI)
- Assistance is limited up to $1500 per tenant per month
- Payments will be made to landlords
- Landlords must agree to the terms of the program and may not displace the household or begin eviction proceedings for at least 60 days from the final month of rental assistance
Funding will be awarded for qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please visit https://phlrentassist.org/ to apply.