COVID Relief – Mortgage and Rental Assistance Grant Program
By: Michael G. Louis, Esquire
On May 29, 2020, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed the COVID Relief – Mortgage and Rental Assistance Grant Program. A minimum of $150,000,000.00 was allocated for rental assistance grants and the money has been appropriated to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for COVID Relief. The Agency must establish guidelines that are consistent with the provisions of the Act within thirty (30) days of May 29, 2020. An eligible lessee (tenant), mortgagor (homeowner), landlord or mortgagee (bank) may apply for relief if the tenant or homeowner became unemployed after March 1, 2020 or had their annual household income reduced by 30% or more due to reduced work hours and wages related to COVID-19.
The Agency is to develop an application for eligible tenants, homeowners, landlords or lenders to apply for assistance under the Act within thirty (30) days of May 29, 2020.
The application shall include a statement by the landlord or lender releasing the tenant or homeowner of any remaining obligation for any past due or future rent or mortgage payment for which the Agency pays the landlord or lender.
Only households with an annualized current income of no more than the upper limit of “median income” will qualify.
For rental assistance, an amount equal to 100% of the tenant’s monthly rent, not to exceed $750.00 per month, for each month for which assistance is sought for a maximum of six months is available. For mortgage assistance, an amount equal to 100% of the homeowner’s monthly mortgage, not to exceed $1,000.00 per month for each month for which assistance is sought for a maximum of six months is available. Payment shall be made no later than November 30, 2020.