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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: August 18, 2022 02:02 PM
From: Senator John I. Kane
To: All Senate members
Subject: Eliminating Barriers to Housing Through Eviction Expungements
Sometimes it feels like we’re intentionally making life more difficult than it needs to be for our constituents. I hope you’ll join me in making it easier for Pennsylvanians to have the security of a residence.

Having evictions on a rental record can make it next to impossible for Pennsylvanians to secure housing or receive aid. It does not matter whether the eviction case is thrown out in court; the fact that they received an eviction notice still appears on their record. Providing a legal path for Pennsylvanians to eliminate their eviction cases would allow them to receive the proper benefits and make it easier to find one of life’s most basic needs.

According to Eviction Lab, a research group out of Princeton University, in Pennsylvania there were 87,898 eviction filings in 2016, leaving that 87,898 people in Pennsylvania at a serious disadvantage and harmed. Sociologist Matthew Desmond estimated that there were about 2.3 million eviction filings in 2016 across the United States. This legislation would put these residents on a level playing field. 

I will be introducing legislation as a companion to House Bill 1530. House Bill 1530, introduced by Representatives Fiedler and Krajewski, is an act that provides a path for the expungement and record sealing of eviction filings. The bill would seal eviction records after five years if it was found that the tenant did indeed breach the lease. Any eviction cases dealing with a “not-for cause” eviction, or a foreclosure eviction would be automatically sealed. The bill will also retroactively seal all cases which meet the “not-for cause” criteria, which will give a clean slate to many families who are looking for safe and affordable housing.

Passing this legislation would move Pennsylvania one step closer to providing a fairer housing market and more opportunities for Pennsylvanians to accomplish their American Dream.

Introduced as SB1326