Pennsylvania has begun accepting applications for approximately $569 million in federal dollars it received to administer assistance to renters, landlords, and utility providers who have been affected by the pandemic and economic insecurity.
Pennsylvania’s new emergency rental assistance program administration has been moved to the state Department of Human Services for the 49 counties that did not receive direct allocations.. The following counties and municipalities received federal funds directly, and are setting up their own programs: Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, Westmoreland and York.
Learn more about the rent and utility assistance and how to apply here.
The previous rental assistance program, administered by the Pa. Housing Finance Agency, was plagued by cumbersome guidelines that created barriers that preventing eligible renters and landlords from being able to access the money before the program expired in the fall. Some $95 million in unused funds meant for emergency assistance was instead used to balance the state’s budget.
Read more coverage of the problems with the previous system that the new guidelines are attempting to avoid.