|Posted:||May 14, 2020 02:30 PM|
|From:||Representative Daniel J. Deasy|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||LANDLORD PROTECTION BILL|
|As our Commonwealth works to get back on its feet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many steps have been taken on the state and federal level to help residents; including federal stimulus funds, increase in unemployment benefits, extension of unemployment, increase in SNAP benefits, moratorium on housing evictions, and more. While there have been great efforts to provide rent relief with an extension of the moratorium on evictions, there has not been any provisions put into place to help protect landlords. I am, therefore introducing the Landlord Protection bill and I hope you will join me.
This bill was born out of conversations over the past two months with constituents who are also landlords and how they are being impacted by COVID-19. I have an older resident that has a duplex and rents out one side in order to pay the mortgage for the property. She is now not receiving rent and is struggling to make her mortgage payment. There is no safety net for her and nowhere for her to get relief. I have renters who have called my office and have asked how long there is a ban on evictions so they can decide whether or not to pay their rent; not that they don’t have the ability to pay but think they are now not required to do so. I have also heard from landlords who are stating that because some renters know they can’t be evicted, even if the eviction process was started prior to COVID-19, they are not only not making an effort to pay their rent, they are also trashing the properties, because they know that the landlord cannot evict them.
I am very concerned because the landlords have become unintended victims of the efforts to provide help and relief to renters. And, we must do what we can now to help protect these property owners.
My legislation would direct the Pennsylvania Homeowners Assistance Program to establish a one-year interest-free loan program to help landlords cover their active rental property expenses that have been directly impacted by COVID-19 and the eviction moratorium.
Provisions for this program would include:
PHFA will put into loan or loan-to-grant programs any safeguards they currently use for any other homeowner assistance program. For example, if a landlord converts part of loan to grant because tenant skipped out on several months rent and through the eviction process receives a judgement from the magistrate requiring the tenant to pay, landlord must agree that if rent is ever received then those funds be sent to PHFA.
Please consider co-sponsoring this important legislation. Thank you.