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Deadline Approaching for Rent and Mortgage Relief in PA

Deadline Approaching for Rent and Mortgage Relief in PA

COVID Relief Mortgage and Rental Assistance Grants for Pennsylvania residents are still available, but the deadline to apply is Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress in March 2020, earmarked $3.9 billion for Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation in May directing $175 million of those funds to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PFHA) to provide $150 million in rental assistance and $25 million in mortgage assistance.

Mortgage Assistance
To distribute the $25 million in mortgage assistance, the PHFA established the Pandemic Mortgage Assistance Program (PMAP). Assistance is limited to $1,000 per month on first or second mortgages for up to six months of mortgage payments.

Since October 17, lenders have been able to work with homeowners to arrange payment for any portion of the monthly mortgage still owed above the $1,000 assistance covered by PMAP. Previously, lenders had to agree to forgive any balance due. The change is designed to attract more lender participation.

Rental Assistance
A similar change went into effect on October 17 for landlords working with renters in the CARES Rent Relief Program (RRP). Landlords are now able to work with renters to arrange payment for any monthly rent still owed above the $750 assistance provided by the RRP. To qualify for RRP funds, renters must be experiencing at least a 30% reduction in annual income related to COVID-19 and assistance is capped at $4,500 over a period of six months.

Governor’s Proposal
PA Governor Tom Wolf believes that more assistance to keep people in their homes is needed and has outlined his proposal to the General Assembly. His suggestions include raising the rental assistance limit from $750 per month to 130% of HUD limits; elimination of the requirement that households must be 30 days behind on rent to qualify for assistance; and elimination of the verification that applicants have applied for unemployment compensation.

Applying for Assistance
The deadline to apply for PMAP and RRP assistance is Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. Web-based applications are being processed through https://PMAP.phfa.org. For additional help, the PHFA’s call center is available weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. using the toll-free number 1- 855-U-Are-Home (827-3466).

For additional information contact us at info@herbein.com