Helpful Resources for People Impacted by the Coronavirus
2021 ASSISTANCE FOR RENTERS
The application period for the first round of CARES assistance for renters (and homeowners) ended on Nov. 4, 2020. So that round of financial assistance has concluded. Please be watching your local news, or return to this webpage, to learn if, and when, new financial assistance for renters will be made available in Pennsylvania in 2021. We will post updates here as information becomes available. Thank you.
- July 29, 2021 – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has launched an online tool to help renters and landlords impacted by the pandemic find and apply for payment assistance for rent, utilities, and other expenses. The Rental Assistance Finder connects renters and landlords with state and local programs distributing federal assistance.
- July 8, 2021 – The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services continues to add helpful information and resources for renters needing rental assistance due to the pandemic. Please check their website regularly for updates.
- March 18, 2021 – The Governor's Office has released this update about the new Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which is providing financial assistance to help Pennsylvanians with rent and utility expenses.
- March 11, 2021 – Pennsylvania's Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which provides assistance to renters and landlords affected by the pandemic who are suffering economic insecurity, is now accepting applications for eligible residents.
- The PA Department of Human Services will be coordinating the new round of financial assistance for Pennsylvania renters in 2021. You can check out this website for its Emergency Rental Assistance Program. As of March 1, details of the program are still being finalized. DHS expects to open for applications by mid-March. Be sure to continuously monitor that website for the latest information. Additionally, DHS will be posting rental assistance updates on its Facebook page and its Twitter page. Those two DHS social media sites are good resources to monitor for news about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program as it prepares to launch in 2021. Finally, DHS will be working with county agencies and advocates to share information as broadly as possible when the application for rental assistance becomes available. So renters are advised to watch their local news for updates, as well.
- On Feb. 5, the Associated Press reported that Gov. Tom Wolf had signed into law $912 million in pandemic relief. Of that amount, $570 million will be divided among all Pennsylvania counties to help renters hurt economically by COVID-19 to pay their rent and utilities. Any assistance unspent by Sept. 30 must be returned to the federal government.
- The Associated Press reports that Pennsylvania's state Senate on Jan. 27 unanimously approved legislation to distribute more than $900 million to aid people struggling to pay rent or utility bills, as well as schools and hospitality-related businesses hit hard by the coronavirus. The bill still requires approval from the state House of Representatives and Gov. Tom Wolf.
- Capitolwire.com reports that the state Senate on Jan. 27 is debating Senate Bill 109. Under that bill, $569.808 million in federal funding allocated to Pennsylvania will be dedicated to rental and utility assistance, if it is passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor.
A list of resources follows for use by consumers and businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. PHFA will expand this list over time, so please check back often.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Department of Veteran Affairs and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have partnered to create a housing assistance website to help homeowners and renters during the coronavirus pandemic. It offers useful resources for homeowners, renters and landlords.
- The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness has developed a step-by-step guide for people who are at risk of eviction. It also includes resources for landlords who are losing income during the pandemic.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has introduced the Find Shelter tool, a resource to search for facilities that provide shelter, clothing, health clinics, and food pantries for people in need.
- PHFA provides helpful COVID-19 Q&A - Updated 10/18 for rental residents and property owners.
- PHFA provides helpful COVID-19 Guidance for Rental Residents Updated 10/12 during COVID-19.
- Here is a list of COVID-19 Helpful Resources for Residents that may be helpful for renters, provided by PHFA.
- Lots of helpful information for renters, landlords, and homeowners provided by the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania. Includes information about rights and benefits for renters and homeowners, as well as a landlord toolkit.
- Resources Guide for PHFA mortgage customers but also helpful for all homeowners. Includes useful information about topics like home repairs, taxes, utilities and more.
- Foreclosure prevention information from PHFA.
- Coronavirus-related information, guidelines, and notices published by state housing finance agencies, the Trump Administration, the CDC, HUD, and other state entities.
- A Coronavirus resource page provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- A resource page addressing tenant concerns provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
RESOURCES FOR THE PUBLIC
- Persevere PA is a free counseling program for people who want help dealing with the stress and anxiety brought on by the current pandemic. It is a helpline with caring counselors who are available 24/7. Read the English and Spanish flyers for more information.
- “Your Money: A Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis,” an article by the New York Times that covers government benefits, free services and financial strategies.
- How to protect yourself financially from the impact of the coronavirus, from the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- How to access emergency food assistance during COVID-19 mitigation.
- For people in immediate need of food assistance, Feeding Pennsylvania and Hunger-Free Pennsylvania are hubs of information for where people can get assistance locally in their communities.
- People experiencing food shortages can get help by completing this brief Department of Human Services online survey.
- The state Department of Human Services has a list of open child care facilities if families working in essential jobs need to contact a new provider. It is being updated regularly.
- Resources for Pennsylvanians during the Coronavirus pandemic from the PA Department of Health.
- PA Department of Education guidance on COVID-19, including where to access free meals for children.
- If you're looking for a job, the state Department of Labor and Industry has launched a portal offering COVID-19 employment opportunities.
- For workers impacted by COVID-19, including workers compensation information, visit the Department of Labor and Industry website.
- Visit http://www.uc.pa.gov to apply for unemployment benefits.
- PA Department of Health and Human Services to apply for benefits.
- COMPASS is an online tool for Pennsylvanians to apply for many health and human service programs.
RESOURCES FOR THE SELF-EMPLOYED
- The federal CARES Act will provide unemployment benefits to the self-employed, gig workers, and other individuals who previously were not eligible for unemployment. Learn more at the Commonwealth of PA website.
RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES
- Gov. Wolf: Economic injury disaster loans available to small businesses and non-profits facing losses related to COVID-19.
RESOURCES FOR NONPROFITS
- COVID-19 funding sources for nonprofits provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Associations.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS
- Learn more about the coronavirus in Pennsylvania; provided by the PA Department of Health.