City and county offering assistance to prevent eviction or foreclosure
July 14, 2020
While Governor Tom Wolf has extended protections for homeowners and renters from foreclosure or eviction through August 31, eligible residents of Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh should be aware they can apply for rental assistance if needed.
C-RRP offers up to six months of rent assistance to December 30, 2020. HSP offers up to $3,000 for rent, mortgage, legal and utility assistance.
Renters and landlords in Allegheny County may be eligible for rental assistance and limited utility assistance through the county’s CARES Rent Relief Program which opened for applications on Monday. Created by the state in May by Act 24, the Rent Relief Program is administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) and managed locally by the county.
Allegheny County is projected to receive an allocation of $22.5 million based upon a population-weighted formula, eligible application volume, and expenditures. The state funding provides up renters with up to $750 a month per household for a maximum of six months of assistance or $4,500.
The county is also providing additional funding to supplement the program, providing an additional $750 a month in rent for a maximum of six months, and $200 a month for a maximum of six months for renters’ electric, gas, internet, late fees, and court costs.
Renters must have a household income at or below the area median income:
Additionally, renters must document at least a 30% reduction in income since March 1, 2020 due to COVID-19 or must have become unemployed (as verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry) since March 1, 2020 due to COVID-19.
The program is also open to landlords who have lost rental income because a renter has experienced job loss or a reduction of income as a result of COVID-19. Landlords must agree to forego any additional rent or fees owed and generally agree to participate in the program, must agree to not pursue eviction action 60 days after assistance provided, must attest that property meets housing quality standards, and must attest to being fully paid on real estate taxes.
Allegheny County Economic Development and the Human Services Department are partnering together with community providers to manage the program. ACTION Housing is serving as the intake and eligibility provider for the program. Staff will answer questions about the program, receive applications and work with the tenant to determine eligibility. The Urban League, Community Human Services, and Auberle are serving as rental assistance providers to help with case management and other needs of program participants.
For more information or to apply, visit https://COVIDRentRelief.AlleghenyCounty.us. Questions can also be directed via email to AHICaresRRP@actionhousing.org or via phone to 412-248-0021. In the first four days of the program, 377 applications had been submitted. Applications will be accepted through September 30, 2020.
The Allegheny County Rent Relief Program is first-come, first served based on the date of the completed application package.
Those seeking assistance may find more information about URA programs at https://www.ura.org/pages/housing-opportunity-fund-programs. Pennsylvania residents may also seek help here from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency at https://www.phfa.org/pacares/.