April 9, 2020
The loss of jobs and the resulting number of unemployment claims due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is astounding. Over 1.2 million Pennsylvanians have filed unemployment claims since March 15. Put differently and into context, there were 15,439 unemployment compensation claims filed over the week ending March 14, 2020. There were 377,451 filed claims during the following week ending March 21, 2020.
With this catastrophic number of people currently unemployed, Pennsylvania must use every resource available for short term emergency rental assistance to help people, especially lower income renters, pay rent to their landlords.
Pennsylvania will receive over $112 million in new CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds, $56 million in new ESG (Emergency Solutions Grant) funds, and close to $1.8 million in HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS) funds from the federal stimulus legislation, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
- Click here for PA’s *initial* funding allocations by jurisdiction. The remaining funds are yet to be awarded and will use a new allocation formula based on need in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CDBG can be used for emergency rental assistance for three months. It must be prioritized and coordinated with other sources of rental assistance to help those unable to pay rent due to COVID-19 related loss of employment or illness and to ensure that landlords can meet their own financial and operational obligations.
- To learn more about CDBG and other federal stimulus funds, join the Housing Alliance on Wednesday, April 16 at 1pm for a webinar, “Community Conversation on the Use and Availability of Federal Stimulus Funds for Affordable Housing and Homelessness.”
In the meantime, we encourage you to follow up with the local HUD Field Office (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) with any questions on the use of CDBG for emergency housing payments.