Governor Tom Wolf today issued an emergency order suspending the statutory deadline provision in the COVID Relief-Mortgage and Rental Assistance Grant Program. The deadline originally scheduled for Sept. 30 was stayed by the governor, effective today, for 30 days until Nov. 4, 2020, in order for the program to be able to continue accepting applications. In response to this new development, the CARES assistance programs for Pennsylvania renters and homeowners have been reopened. All eligibility requirements remain the same.
Renters who were financially impacted by the economic slowdown related to the coronavirus pandemic will be able to access applications for rent relief starting June 29.
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, and $25 million was set aside for mortgage assistance.
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 Pennsylvania 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. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Application Checklist, Frequently Asked Questions, Fact Sheet and Guidelines below before preparing and submitting an application.
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 their eligibility. Both a renter and a landlord MUST submit an application for rent relief consideration. Renters and landlords are strongly encouraged to coordinate submission of applications.
The CARES funding for renters 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.
Applications must be submitted by November 4, 2020 by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by US Mail to Rent Relief Program, 114 N. Hanover Street, Carlisle, PA 17013