Application Submissions Begin July 6
People who lost income due to the pandemic-related economic slowdown may be eligible for rent assistance to help them stay in their homes.
As previously reported, renters and homeowners who were financially impacted by the economic slowdown related to the coronavirus pandemic will be able to access applications for rent and mortgage relief starting June 29. At that time, applications will be easily accessible from a red banner on the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s website at
. PHFA is administering both programs.
PHFA is currently identifying organizations in all 67 counties to help it process the large number of rent
relief applications anticipated. People will submit their applications and supporting paperwork to these
county organizations for review.
The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in March, provided $3.9
billion for Pennsylvania and is intended to help people hurt economically during the pandemic. In late
May, the General Assembly directed $175 million of these CARES dollars to PHFA to provide assistance for
struggling renters and homeowners. The portion for rent assistance is at least $150 million.
During June, in a period of about four weeks, PHFA is developing detailed programs for distributing this
financial assistance quickly to people in need while following legislative requirements. The agency will
begin accepting completed applications for rent and mortgage assistance on July 6.
For renters to be eligible for financial assistance under the CARES Rent Relief Program (RRP), they will
need to document at least a 30% reduction in annual income since March 1 related to COVID-19, or they
must have become unemployed after March 1. If unemployed, they must have filed for unemployment
compensation with the PA Department of Labor and Industry. Their household income cannot exceed the area median income for their county of residence adjusted for the number of people in their home.
Renters who qualify may receive assistance equal to 100% of their monthly rent up to $750 a month for a
maximum of six months of assistance for the time period between March 1 and November 30, 2020.
Payments will be made to their landlord on their behalf. Renters or landlords can apply for rent relief for
apartment tenants, but renters are responsible for submitting all the documents needed to ensure eligibility.
The CARES funding for renters must be completely distributed by Nov. 30, 2020, although it is expected the assistance will be exhausted before the deadline because of the tremendous need by people hurt financially by the pandemic. Therefore, AAMP recommends that applications be prepared during the month of July.
AAMP will organize a webinar, most likely the first week in July, regarding the application process once the application and guidance has been released. Watch for future emails regarding this webinar.