FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 29, 2020
Today Governor Wolf signed the legislation allocating the federal CARES Act funding, which included a $175M allocation for a COVID Relief Mortgage and Rental Assistance Program and an additional $10M for Homeless Assistance Grants. As you are writing about this essential legislation and relief programs it’s supporting, please consider the following statements from the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, which advocates for a balanced housing market, including affordable housing opportunities.
Upon signing of the legislation, the Housing Alliance Executive Director Phyllis Chamberlain offered these comments:
The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania thanks Governor Wolf and members of the General Assembly for recognizing that housing, specifically rental assistance, has to be part of Pennsylvania’s economic recovery plan from COVID-19. The funds appropriated will support communities in preventing evictions for tenants, stabilizing landlord small businesses, and ensuring that adequate support is provided to those that were one paycheck away from homelessness.
Less than 1 in 3 renters have enough money set aside for a three-month emergency with too many households on the brink, living paycheck to paycheck. The need for rental assistance and other supports for low-income families has only grown since the onset of the pandemic.
Allocating funding for rental assistance will help tenants who are behind on rent, due to a COVID-19 related job loss, maintain their payments. And while there is an eviction moratorium in place until July 11, rent is still due, and the funding will help households avoid eviction once the moratorium is lifted.
The funding awarded through this legislation will also help landlords be certain they can meet their own financial and operational obligations. Additionally, the homeless assistance provided by this legislation will ensure that local communities can support households who end up seeking homeless shelter to quickly get back on their feet.
The federal government has provided some resources to Pennsylvania and now the state government has stepped up recognizing the importance of housing to our economic recovery. The Housing Alliance is appreciative of this critical step forward that will help stabilize the housing sector.