Payments, assistance & taxes

Get help if you are at risk of being evicted

The City of Philadelphia is launching a COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program to help people who have lost income because of COVID-19 pay their rent. Funding is limited. Not everyone who applies will receive assistance.

The City offers limited funding to help people who are at risk of becoming homeless. If you’re facing eviction or another housing emergency, you may be able to get help with paying back rent or a security deposit.


The Emergency Assistance and Response Unit (EARU) has funding to help prevent people from becoming homeless. We help people who:

  • Are in the process of being evicted.
  • Have been evicted.
  • Are victims of domestic violence.
  • Have been displaced by fires or other disasters.
  • Have been displaced by the Department of Licenses and Inspections or the Department of Public Health.
  • Have received a Notice to Vacate.
  • Have to move and need help with move-in costs.
  • Have another type of housing emergency.


To receive help from EARU, you must provide:

  • Documentation related to your emergency. This could be a court-ordered eviction notice, a Notice to Vacate, documentation from the Red Cross, etc.
  • Your government-issued photo identification. You may need to provide Social Security cards and birth certificates for each person in your household.
  • Verification of your income, dated within the last 30 days. This could be pay stubs, proof of benefits (from TANF, Social Security, or disability), or proof of any other source of income.

If you are in the process of being evicted, you must bring:

  • A letter from your landlord showing the balance owed, dated within 10 days.
  • Documentation of assistance from other agencies, if you are part of any other assistance programs.
  • A signed copy of your lease.

Your landlord must provide a:

  • Current rental license.
  • Certificate of Rental Suitability.
  • EPA Lead-Safe Certificate if you have a child six or younger living with you.

You can ask your landlord to send you copies of these documents. They can also email or fax them to our office, or bring them in themselves.

If you want help with a security deposit, you must have:

  • A letter of approval from the landlord showing the total cost to move in.
  • Approval from the landlord to have the Office of Homeless Services inspect the property.

Where and when

The Office of Homeless Services Emergency Assistance and Response Unit is located at 1430 Cherry Street, between Broad and 15th Streets. Our office is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.


If you are at risk of becoming homeless, gather the documentation and come in to our office to meet with a social worker. They will help you determine if you’re eligible for funding and begin the application.