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18 Sep 2020

City of Philadelphia’s COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program matching rent up to $1,500

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September 18, 2020 Category: Local Posted by:

The City of Philadelphia has made a significant change to the amount of rental assistance funding that is available for Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Now, rent can be paid up to $1500.00.

“Our goal throughout the pandemic has been –- and continues to be –- to keep people in their homes,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “Whether it’s through our rental assistance program, COVID emergency housing sites, or our eviction diversion program, maintaining housing for our most vulnerable residents is critical. This additional CARES Act funding for rental assistance allows us to serve landlords and families struggling to make ends meet. We encourage all eligible Philadelphians facing economic hardship during these challenging times to apply for rental assistance before the end of the month.”

This increase will automatically apply to tenants that have already applied for Phase 2 funding, as well as all new applicants.

“With many tenants unable to pay rent, and a federal eviction moratorium in place, it is essential that we help our renters and their landlords to weather the storm,” Greg Heller, PHDC senior vice president of community investment, said. “We hope that this change allows many more landlords and tenants to participate and receive the assistance they need.”  

PHASE 2 Program criteria include: 

• Applicants must be Philadelphia residents (renters in other counties must apply to their county’s designated organization) 

• Landlords and renters must each provide information 

• Renters must have lost more than 30% of their income due to reduced work hours/wages because of COVID-19, or have become unemployed after March 1 due to COVID-19 

• Renters who applied for PA unemployment assistance must have done so after March 1 

• Renters’ income before March 1 must be no more than 100% of the area median income, or $87,000 for a family of three (the income limit for Phase 1 was 50% of AMI) 

• Assistance is limited up to $1500 per tenant per month 

• Payments will be made to landlords 

• Landlords must agree to the terms of the program and may not displace the household or begin eviction proceedings for at least 60 days from the final month of rental assistance 

 “This increased rental assistance has numerous social, health and economic benefits for tenants, landlords and our City – including reducing evictions and stabilizing landlords, many of whom are small businesses,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke, a longtime advocate on Council for affordable housing for Philadelphians, said. “In addition, in many cases evictions lead to homelessness, which further burdens our City’s budget as the cost of providing services to the homeless will far exceed any allocation of CARES funds that we put into a program that will help keep tenants in their homes.” 

Funding will be awarded for qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please visit: for more information.  They are receiving applications until September 30, 2020.  

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