Renters who were financially impacted by the economic slowdown related
to the coronavirus pandemic are able to access applications for rent
relief. Applications are easily accessible from the Pennsylvania Housing
Finance Agency’s website at www.PHFA.org
. The last day applications
will be accepted is September 30, 2020.
The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania joins PHFA in this
notification to help ensure effective implementation at the local level.
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.
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 must
have become unemployed after March 1 with the same 30% income loss. If
unemployed, the agency will verify their unemployment compensation
status 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.
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 December 30, 2020.
Payments will be made to their landlord on their behalf. Renters or
landlords can apply for rent relief for tenants, but a complete
application includes documents that must be completed by both the
landlord and the renter.
PHFA’s call center is available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist
the public and help with questions about the programs. The toll-free
number is 1 (855) U-Are-Home (827-3466). Callers should listen for the
prompt mentioning CARES assistance for renters.
For homeowners impacted by COVID-19, CARES mortgage relief is available
directly from PHFA. Details are available on their homepage at
; look for the red CARES banner. The state legislature also
set aside $25 million in CARES funding for mortgage assistance, and PHFA
is administering that program.