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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 1, 2020 01:02 PM
From: Representative Austin A. Davis
To: All House members
Subject: Emergency Rental Assistance Grant Program
I plan to introduce legislation to create an Emergency Rental Assistance Grant Program for those who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to cover housing expenses.  The program, to be administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, will utilize funds made available to the Commonwealth from the Coronavirus Relief Fund portion of the federal CARES Act.

While the CARES Act includes a number of provisions for individuals and businesses, these funds are not tied to housing obligations and will not be sufficient to address the unprecedented financial challenges that both renters and the rental industry are now facing as a result of the necessary mitigation efforts implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state.

Many residential tenants have been affected by furloughs or job loss, inhibiting their ability to pay their rent, even with the enhanced unemployment assistance provided by the CARES Act, and may face eviction once the present state and federal eviction moratoriums have expired and back-rent is owed.

As with renters, the COVID-19 pandemic, is impacting large, medium and small housing providers.  The situation is particularly devastating for smaller housing providers who make up most rental property owners in Pennsylvania.  These small businesses often function on low margins that cannot sustain substantial losses of rental income for any period.  This could result in a reduction of housing quality as owners make tough decisions about reserves and reducing expenses.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this critical legislation which will protect both renters and rental property owners alike.

Introduced as HB2570