PAA Update-
Statewide Stay at Home Order & Recommendations
PAA Update – Statewide Stay at Home Order & Recommendations
 
On Wednesday, April 1 st Governor Tom Wolf extended the Stay at Home Order to all 67 counties in the Commonwealth. Concurrently, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended the moratorium on eviction filing until April 30, 2020. The number of Pennsylvanians who are testing positive for COVID-19 is growing exponentially. There were over 1,200 new cases in PA overnight and there have now been 90 deaths. 
 
The Department of Community and Economic Development and other state agencies have announced that they will become more aggressive with enforcement regarding the operation of non-essential businesses. We would like to stress to our members that we highly recommend you follow our suggested recommendations and guidelines. Now that all of Pennsylvania is facing a Stay at Home Order, we would recommend that any personnel who can work from home, should work from home. Limiting onsite staff to typical night and weekend operations is advised. We expect local law enforcement and the Pennsylvania State Police to be actively monitoring violators to the Stay at Home and Life Sustaining Business Orders. Managers and employees should be prepared to explain and justify to law enforcement why they are essential personal and performing an essential function. PAA is limited in any direct interference we can offer with the authorities which is why we are emphasizing the need to follow our recommendations.
 
Over 890,000 Pennsylvanians have filed for unemployment compensation since March 15 th. The Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released a report yesterday detailing the Commonwealth’s General Fund revenues for March, indicating collections were $4.4 billion. This March was a $118.1 million decrease from last March’s revenues, showing a significant loss in revenue for the state. According to the IFO’s report, “The IFO estimates that the virus contributed roughly $200 million to the monthly shortfall: (1) $50 million in lost revenue due to reduced economic activity, (2) $90 million in processing delays (expected to resolve in the current fiscal year) and (3) $60 million that will shift to fiscal year (FY) 2020-21 as a result of extended tax due dates.” To view the report in more detail, click here.
 
Due to the high volume of unemployment in Pennsylvania, we recommend that our members hold their eviction filings. The PA Courts have halted evictions, but we are recommending our members try to do the following:
 
  • Extend grace periods for late payments and waive late fees for residents that have provided documentation of financial hardship or loss of employment related to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Create payment plans for residents, including those who had previously outstanding eviction balances and put the plan in writing
  • Regardless of when the courts of the Commonwealth reopen, we are recommending to our members not to evict prior to July 15th, but retain the right to file an eviction for a material non-payment default under the lease such as disrupting the peace or violating the law
  • Identify resources available to residents through government and community programs 
 
The state legislature and local governments continue to propose legislation that would severely inhibit our industry and our members’ operations. We believe that by implementing some of the above suggestions you can help PAA and our members when we are working to combat these egregious proposals from local and state government. 
 
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns at info@paahq.com. Access our COVID-19 Resource Page for more guidance and information. 
Sincerely,

Leah Sailhamer
Pennsylvania Apartment Association
610.664.1800
Pennsylvania Apartment Association | paahq.com