By Ayana Jones
PHILADELPHIA — Emergency aid is available to help people who are struggling financially and facing eviction and foreclosures due to the pandemic.
Money for the program comes from $175 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) funding. About $125 million of the funding is reserved to help renters and $25 million is being allocated for mortgage assistance.
State Sens. Art Haywood and Vincent Hughes, both Philadelphia Democrats, advocated for funding for the program, which seeks to help people financially impacted by the pandemic.
“We know that rental assistance is needed across the commonwealth, we know that mortgage assistance is needed across the commonwealth,” Haywood said during a news conference. “We know that this is a statewide challenge that we hope we can meet in part with these resources.”
The funding comes as Gov. Tom Wolf’s order preventing evictions and foreclosures across the state is set to expire next week.
Hughes said that the eviction moratorium does not necessarily have to end on July 10, given that there is an uptick of the coronavirus across the country and in Pennsylvania.
“It’s not in anybody’s interest to begin an eviction or foreclosure process while you have $175 million available to help people,” he said.
“We’re still in a global pandemic and we see growth in the virus. Putting people out on the street is not necessarily the best thing to do in that environment. I anticipate you’ll hear some more public action from our caucus within the very near future on this. I’m hoping the best senses of everyone will prevail and not go down a path of evictions and foreclosure.
Applications for the new program will be accepted starting July 6 through Sept. 30.