DHS details $847 million emergency program to help Pa. landlords and tenants

Written by on April 13, 2021

 DHS details $847 million emergency program to help Pa. landlords and tenants

 By Hayden Mitman

April 13, 2021

Image by Sephelonor from Pixabay 

In a new effort to help renters and landlords, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has set aside $847 million for emergency rental assistance. 

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More than a third of that is targeted specifically at the state’s largest counties, including Lehigh and Northampton.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 2 million Pennsylvanians have applied for unemployment and about 1 in 5 throughout the state have experienced housing insecurity. 

Department of Human Services Secretary Theresa Miller says this new effort will ensure funds get to those hit hardest by the pandemic. 

“This program is deliberately designed to help people dig out of what may be some very deep holes,” Miller says. 

A recent study by the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project and Community Legal Services found minorities are especially vulnerable, she says.

“Roughly three-quarters of Black or Latinx respondents reported falling behind on their rent or mortgage,” Miller says.

The study also found a third of Black respondents have been evicted over the past year, even though there has been a moratorium on evictions since March of 2020. 

Those in need of rental assistance can apply now through September or until the funds run out. Information on eligibility and how to apply is at DHS.Pa.Gov

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