Creating Opportunities for People and Communities to Thrive
Financial assistance available for renters hurt financially by COVID-19
Max assistance is $750/month for 6 months; deadline to apply is Sept. 30
Renters who were financially impacted by the economic slowdown related to the coronavirus pandemic can now get CARES financial assistance to help with the payment of past-due rent. CSO has been designated the lead agency by both the Northumberland and Columbia County commissioners for processing applications for their counties' residents.
The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in March, provided $3.9 billion for Pennsylvania, and is intended to help people hurt economically during the pandemic. In late May, the General Assembly directed $175 million of these CARES dollars to PHFA to help with struggling renters and homeowners. PHFA is working with organizations in all 67 counties, which are processing renters’ applications and distributing the assistance locally. The state funding provided for rent assistance is at least $150 million; $25 million was set aside for mortgage assistance.
Details about renters’ assistance
Renters who qualify the CARES Rent Relief Program may receive assistance equal to 100% of their monthly rent up to $750 a month for a maximum of six months of assistance for the period between March 1 and December 31, 2020. Payments will be made to their landlord on their behalf. Renters or landlords can apply for rent relief for apartment tenants, but renters are responsible for submitting all the documents needed to ensure their eligibility.
The deadline to apply is September 30, although the deadline may be extended. Contact CSO, (570)-644-6575 ext. 171 for the most current information.
Who is eligible?
For renters to be eligible for financial assistance under the CARES Rent Relief Program, they will need to document at least a 30% reduction in annual income since March 1 related to COVID-19, or they must have become unemployed after March 1. If unemployed, they must have filed for unemployment compensation with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Their household income cannot exceed the Area Median Income for their county of residence, adjusted for the number of people in their home.
The application process requires the submission of three applications: one completed by the renter, a landlord application and a landlord-property certification. Supplemental documents are also required, like proof of income and proof of residence. All materials must be submitted together and mailed to Central Susquehanna Opportunities, Inc., 2 East Arch St., Shamokin, PA 17872. Helpful support, including an application checklist and a Q&A sheet, is available on PHFA’s website.
Watch this video before you begin work on your applications.
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