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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 16, 2020 03:35 PM
From: Senator Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation directing federal funds be used to provide rental assistance to Pennsylvanians struggling to pay the bills during this unprecedented crisis.
Nearly 10 million Americans filed for unemployment in March. More than one million Pennsylvanians have filed for unemployment over the past several weeks and countless more will apply until we can begin to reopen our economy.
According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, nearly a third of all United States renters did not pay rent between April 1 and April 5. Though steps have been taken at all levels of government to ensure that tenants are not evicted during this crisis, we must continue to provide financial assistance to those who are struggling. This is especially critical in Philadelphia where most renters are considered “rent burdened” and spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing.
My legislation will direct that incoming federal funds be directed to the Department of Human Services and the Office of Income Management to provide rental assistance to those who’ve been impacted by COVID-19. This will allow more renters to work with their landlords and continue to provide direct financial support to Pennsylvanians.
Please join me in sponsoring this important legislation.