Emergency Rental, Utility Assistance Program Now Open

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HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvanians at risk of eviction or loss of utility service can now apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), said Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-Chester/Mongomery). A total of $847 million has been distributed among Pennsylvania’s 67 counties to help thousands of families maintain their housing and utility services. Owners of rental properties can also apply for assistance on behalf of tenants.

Authorized by the Legislature under Act 1 of 2021, households may be eligible for up to 12 months of assistance to cover past-due or future rental and/or utility payments. To qualify, a household must be responsible to pay rent on a residential property; have at least one person who qualified for unemployment benefits, had a decrease in income, had increased household costs or experienced other financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic; have at least one person at risk of homelessness or household instability; and have a household income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). For further details, visit www.dhs.pa.gov/coronavirus/Pages/Emergency-Rental-Assistance-Program.aspx  To apply online, visit: www.compass.state.pa.us.

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“The pandemic and statewide shutdown have taken a toll on working families throughout Pennsylvania,” said Hennessey. “This program will provide a lifeline that is based on need, not income, and will enable people to remain in their homes and able to pay their utilities. However, residents are urged to apply as soon as possible as funds will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are depleted.”

The program is made possible with federal funding through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The Wolf administration built ERAP in partnership with the General Assembly through Act 1 of 2021 to distribute about $569 million to Pennsylvania households through partnerships with local leaders. An additional $278 million in rental assistance was directly allocated to Pennsylvania’s largest counties by the federal government.

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More information about ERAP can be found at www.dhs.pa.gov.

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