Pa. Courts informed about rental assistance programs as eviction moratorium expires | Local news

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With the federal eviction moratorium approaching, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is informing the state judiciary of the services and resources available to tenants who are behind on their rent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month postponed the moratorium to July 31, but said it would be the final extension that could result in a cascade of evictions of people who had theirs during COVID Failed to pay rent -19 pandemic.

Acting Secretary for Human Services Meg Snead sent a letter last week to Geoff Moulton, court administrator for the Pennsylvania Courts Administration Bureau, which oversees the state’s judicial system, reminding the judiciary of the number of federal and state grants available to those in need of rental assistance in order to avoid deportation from their place of residence.

With the court system at the forefront of evictions when the August hearings resumed, Snead’s letter on Thursday was apparently intended to inform judges and district judges of the $ 1.3 billion in state and federal funds for rent benefits and utility payments that were being made both tenants and landlords in. are available to Pennsylvania to stave off a potential real estate crisis.

Snead’s letter warns that last March’s long moratorium, which “delayed the potential wave of evictions” while the country was in the midst of an economic downturn when many companies had to close their doors due to the spread of the coronavirus, will end three weeks.

“Even with this short-term pardon, I am still seriously concerned about how the end of evictions will affect individuals and families across Pennsylvania,” Snead wrote in the letter. “Evictions and a potential increase in the number of homeless people pose serious threats to public health, but the effects go further.”

Snead’s letter to Moulton was apparently forwarded to judges and administrators at the district court on Friday.

The two rounds of funding through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide more than $ 1 billion in rental and utility services across the state, plus an additional $ 278 million in direct aid that has been split and sent to more than 200,000 counties in Pennsylvania , including Washington County.

“These programs represent a historic opportunity to prevent a deeper housing, health and economic crisis that would cause a wave of evictions and to help the people hardest hit by the economic uncertainty of the past year with one stable place to live out of this pandemic, ”wrote Snead in the letter. “I am writing to you today to respectfully seek the assistance of the judiciary to educate both landlords and tenants about the ERAP programs as we break free from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The letter contains information about the ERAP program, including qualifications and how to apply, on the state’s website at www.dhs.pa.gov/erap. More information on how each county is handling the program is also available on the website.



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