More News:

January 06, 2022

Philadelphia ends emergency rental assistance program due to lack of funds

The popular COVID-19 relief initiative has helped more than 38,000 households by providing $248 million in assistance

Government Housing
Rental Assistance Program Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

Philadelphia ends its emergency rental assistance program due to lack of funds. Applications that have already turned in will remain, and any additional funding that arises will be used to assist those that are already in the pipeline.

Philadelphia is ending their emergency rental and utility assistance program due to a limited amount of remaining funding, the city said in a statement released on Thursday.

The Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation will continue to oversee applications until the window officially closes on Friday at 5 p.m. Any remaining or upcoming funding efforts will be used to aid applicants already on the wait list.

Officials note that the program has helped more than 38,000 households by providing $248 million in rental assistance. 

Phase 4 of the program included the largest amount of applicants and money spent on assistance since the initiative began in May 2020. 

Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed legislation to extend the popular Eviction Diversion program through the end of 2022, and landlords are still required to submit an application through the Diversion program before seeking eviction for nonpayment. 

Beginning on Monday, Jan. 10, the program will continue on as a separate, new operation. Landlords can submit an application directly to the Diversion program's dashboard, where mediations will be set up for tenants who want to negotiate prior to any eviction proceedings. 

The Eviction Diversion program is a COVID-19 emergency relief initiative that has helped keep some eviction cases out of the courts by incorporating rental assistance and holding mediation between landlords and tenants. According to primary sponsor Councilmember Helen Gym, the program has seen a 93% success rate in avoiding evictions. 

It has been lauded by the White House and the Department of Justice for its work in helping to end poverty-based evictions, particularly during the ongoing pandemic. 

Landlords who have been contacted by the PHDC about including additional information and documents are strongly encouraged to update their applications so that they can be assisted as soon as funding is available. 

City officials also included a resource for tenants, provided by the Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project. It includes a variety of information about tenant's rights and responsibilities, including information about how to receive assistance for both housing and utility costs.