Philadelphia is helping families struggling with income during the coronavirus pandemic stay in their homes thanks to a new rental assistance program.
Philadelphia launched its COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program on Tuesday morning. The program will pay the rent of about 3,000 households.
The program “aims to help people who have lost income because of COVID-19 pay their rent,” the City’s website says. “It makes payments directly to your landlord.”
The payments can’t exceed $2,500 over three months. Renters must have their rent paid up before April and landlords agree to not evicting program recipients for at least six months after the city payments end.
“A lot of landlords in Philly are small business people themselves, can’t afford to miss several months of income, so for them this program is going to be very helpful,” said Gregory Heller, senior vice president of community investment for the Philadelphia Housing Development Cooperation.
There are varying incomes thresholds depending on how many people are in your home. A family of four can’t exceed $48,300 annually. Click here to get the full income requirements.
Timing is very important as you must have the application completed and all the necessary documents submitted by 5 p.m. Saturday.
No one in your household needs to have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to qualify, the city said. People living in public housing don’t qualify.
The Philadelphia Housing Development Cooperation will randomly select applicants. It is estimated that around 40,000 renters qualify for the assistance.
The City said money will be available to help with additional payments -- up to a year -- should the need continue. Renters will be reevaluated after the first three months.
The money for the rental assistance program is coming from the federal CARES Act.
You can help the cause by donating on the City’s website.