The City of Philadelphia announced that Phase 4 of the COVID-19 Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program is now open to landlords and tenants. This new round of funding was authorized by the federal government, and Philadelphia will have about $97 million.
According to Patch, Phase 4 of the program helps people pay their rent and utilities who have experienced financial hardship because of COVID-19. Previous phases did not include utilities, only rent. Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC), the City’s housing and community development non-profit, will continue to administer this program. Landlords and tenants can apply until funds run out.
Who can apply?
- Landlords and tenants can apply. If a landlord applies, their tenant must be eligible, and they must get written consent from their tenant.
- Applicants who received funds in Phases 1-3 of PHLRentAssist are eligible to apply for Phase 4, however, applicants may not receive funds for any months for which they have previously been paid.
- Applicants also cannot receive payment for any rent or utility costs for which they received federal, state, or local rental assistance for the same costs.
Tenants are eligible if they meet all three of these criteria:
- Have a household income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).
- Qualify for unemployment benefits; or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced some other financial hardship due to COVID-19.
- Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability. Tenants can meet this criteria if they have any past-due rent, past due utilities, received an eviction notice, or paying over one third of their household income on rent.
PHDC began accepting Phase 4 applications on Monday, April 5 at PHLRentAssist.org.
To help families to stay home
“We know that tens of thousands of our city’s tenants and landlords are suffering because of COVID-19, and we are doing everything we can to help,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “With this new funding we can help even more families stay in their homes, and even more landlords to afford to pay their bills. We are excited to be able to offer assistance with overdue utility bills in this round, and for our utility partners in getting the word out about this program,” added the Major.
For more information and for ways for tenants to apply, please visit the PHLRentAssist website. Tenants can call 311 for questions.