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A07622
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2868
Session of
2020
INTRODUCED BY HELM, CALTAGIRONE, BARRAR, BOBACK, DRISCOLL,
McNEILL, MOUL, SCHLOSSBERG, SOLOMON AND YOUNGBLOOD,
SEPTEMBER 15, 2020
AS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE ON URBAN AFFAIRS, HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, AS AMENDED, SEPTEMBER 17, 2020
AN ACT
Amending the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.343, No.176), entitled
"An act relating to the finances of the State government;
providing for cancer control, prevention and research, for
ambulatory surgical center data collection, for the Joint
Underwriting Association, for entertainment business
financial management firms, for private dam financial
assurance and for reinstatement of item vetoes; providing for
the settlement, assessment, collection, and lien of taxes,
bonus, and all other accounts due the Commonwealth, the
collection and recovery of fees and other money or property
due or belonging to the Commonwealth, or any agency thereof,
including escheated property and the proceeds of its sale,
the custody and disbursement or other disposition of funds
and securities belonging to or in the possession of the
Commonwealth, and the settlement of claims against the
Commonwealth, the resettlement of accounts and appeals to the
courts, refunds of moneys erroneously paid to the
Commonwealth, auditing the accounts of the Commonwealth and
all agencies thereof, of all public officers collecting
moneys payable to the Commonwealth, or any agency thereof,
and all receipts of appropriations from the Commonwealth,
authorizing the Commonwealth to issue tax anticipation notes
to defray current expenses, implementing the provisions of
section 7(a) of Article VIII of the Constitution of
Pennsylvania authorizing and restricting the incurring of
certain debt and imposing penalties; affecting every
department, board, commission, and officer of the State
government, every political subdivision of the State, and
certain officers of such subdivisions, every person,
association, and corporation required to pay, assess, or
collect taxes, or to make returns or reports under the laws
imposing taxes for State purposes, or to pay license fees or
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other moneys to the Commonwealth, or any agency thereof,
every State depository and every debtor or creditor of the
Commonwealth," in Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency,
further providing for definitions and for mortgage and rental
assistance program.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Sections 190-C and 191-C of the act of April 9,
1929 (P.L.343, No.176), known as The Fiscal Code, added May 29,
2020 (P.L.186, No.24), are amended to read:
Section 190-C. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this subarticle
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Agency." The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.
"Eligible landlord." An individual or entity owning a place
of residence that leases the residence to an individual and that
experienced a loss of rental income because the lessee became
unemployed after March 1, 2020, or the lessee had their annual
household income reduced by 30% or more due to reduced work
hours and wages related to COVID-19. [The loss of rental income
must be at least 30 days past due.]
"Lessee." An individual who leases a place of residence in
which the individual will permanently reside.
"Program." The COVID Relief - Mortgage and Rental Assistance
Grant Program established under section 1919-C(a).
Section 191-C. COVID Relief - Mortgage and Rental Assistance
Grant Program.
(a) Establishment of program.--The agency shall establish
the COVID Relief - Mortgage and Rental Assistance Grant Program.
(b) Purpose of the program.--The program shall receive
applications from lessees, landlords, mortgagees and mortgagors
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and award grants to eligible landlords and mortgagees in
accordance with this act.
(c) Use of funds.--Money appropriated to the Pennsylvania
Housing Finance Agency for COVID Relief - Mortgage and Rental
Assistance shall be used to make grants under this subarticle.
(d) Allocation.--The agency shall allocate a minimum of
$150,000,000 of the funds received for use under this subarticle
for rental assistance grants.
(e) Guidelines.--The agency shall establish guidelines that
are consistent with the provisions of this subarticle within 30
days of the effective date of this section. The guidelines shall
be:
(1) submitted to the Legislative Reference Bureau for
publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin; and
(2) posted on the agency's publicly accessible Internet
website.
(f) [(Reserved).] Administrative fee.--The agency may
utilize, to cover costs associated with the administration of
the program, an amount not to exceed the lesser of 5% of the
money appropriated for COVID Relief - Mortgage and Rental
Assistance or the actual costs of administering the program.
(g) Program requirements.--The following shall apply:
(1) An eligible lessee, mortgagor, landlord or mortgagee
shall submit to the agency the name of the lessee or
mortgagor from whom rental or mortgage payments are sought,
along with any additional information deemed necessary by the
agency to carry out the agency's responsibilities under this
section.
(2) Assistance may be awarded to lessors or mortgagees
on behalf of lessees or mortgagors who became unemployed
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after March 1, 2020, or had their annual household income
reduced by 30% or more due to reduced work hours and wages
related to COVID-19.
(3) The agency shall develop an application for eligible
lessees, mortgagors, landlords or mortgagees to apply for
assistance under this section within 30 days of the effective
date of this section. The application shall include an
attestation by the landlord or mortgagee releasing the lessee
or mortgagor of any [remaining obligation for] fee or penalty
for any past due or future rent or mortgage payment for which
the agency pays the landlord or mortgagee. The application
shall be made available and posted on the agency's publicly
accessible Internet website and be in a form that can be
completed and returned by the lessee, mortgagor, landlord or
mortgagee electronically or through the United States mail.
The deadline for submitting applications to the agency shall
be [September 30,] October 31, November 13, 2020.
(4) The agency shall verify the name of the lessee or
mortgagor with the Department of Labor and Industry's Bureau
of Unemployment Compensation to ensure the lessee or
mortgagor became unemployed after March 1, 2020.
(5) The agency shall require any applicant seeking
assistance based on reduced work hours or wages related to
the coronavirus pandemic to submit information verifying such
information. IF AN APPLICANT CANNOT PROVIDE ADEQUATE
DOCUMENTATION VERIFYING THE DECREASE, THE AGENCY MAY DEVELOP
A FORM THAT ALLOWS AN APPLICANT TO STATE UNDER PENALTY OF 18
PA.C.S. ยง 4904 (RELATING TO UNSWORN FALSIFICATION TO
AUTHORITIES) THAT THE APPLICANT EXERCISED THE APPLICANT'S
BEST EFFORTS TO OBTAIN DOCUMENTATION AND HAS BEEN UNABLE TO
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OBTAIN THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION AND THAT THE APPLICANT
SATISFIES THE REDUCED HOURS OR WAGES REQUIREMENT TO MAKE THE
APPLICANT ELIGIBLE FOR ASSISTANCE.
(6) The agency shall make payments only to lessors or
mortgagees.
(7) The agency shall make payments only on behalf of
households with an annualized current income of no more than
the upper limit of "median income" as defined in guidelines
published annually by the United States Department of Housing
and Urban Development.
(8) The agency shall notify each lessee or mortgagor of
the amount of payment made to the landlord or mortgagee on
the lessee's or mortgagor's behalf.
(9) The agency shall make payments as follows:
(i) For rental assistance, an amount equal to 100%
of the lessee's monthly rent, not to exceed [$750 per
month,] 130% of the fiscal year 2020 fair market rent for
a two-bedroom unit in the local area for Pennsylvania as
determined by the United States Department Housing and
Urban Development, for each month for which assistance is
sought for a maximum of six months. Payments shall be
made no later than November 30, 2020.
(ii) For mortgage assistance, an amount equal to
100% of the mortgagor's monthly mortgage, not to exceed
[$1,000] $1,500 per month, for each month for which
assistance is sought for a maximum of six months.
Payments shall be made no later than November 30, 2020.
(iii) In addition to any payment under subparagraph
(i), a landlord who agrees to release the lessee of any
remaining obligation for past due or future rent for all
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the months which the agency pays the landlord shall be
entitled to an additional payment for each month equal to
25% of the outstanding balance, not to exceed the
remaining monthly rent or $600, whichever is less. If the
total rent is covered by the payment under subparagraph
(i), a landlord shall not be eligible for an additional
payment under this subparagraph.
(iv) In addition to any payment under subparagraph
(ii), a mortgagee who agrees to release the mortgagor of
any remaining obligation for any past due or future
mortgage payment for all the months which the agency pays
the mortgagee, shall be entitled to an additional payment
for each month equal to 25% of the outstanding balance,
not to exceed the remaining monthly mortgage amount or
$600, whichever is less. If the total mortgage payment is
covered by the payment under subparagraph (ii), a
mortgagee shall not be eligible for an additional payment
under this subparagraph.
(10) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the
contrary, the following shall apply:
(i) A landlord who receives payments for a lessee
under the program shall be required to offer the lessee a
repayment plan for any rent obligation outstanding after
payments received from the program are applied to the
lessee's rent obligation. The repayment plan may not
include any late fee or interest for the months in which
rental assistance was provided through the program. A
repayment plan under this subparagraph may not be less
than 12 months or the number of months outstanding on a
lessee's lease. If a lessee is renting under the month-
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to-month lease, the repayment plan term may not be less
than 12 months.
(ii) A mortgagee who receives payments for a
mortgagor under the program that are not sufficient to
cure any outstanding obligation after payments received
from the program are applied to the mortgagor's mortgage
account shall assess the mortgagor's eligibility for
possible loss mitigation options, as may be available
under applicable investor or insurer guidelines.
(h) Report.--By December 31, 2020, the agency shall issue a
report to the chairperson and minority chairperson of the
Appropriations Committee of the Senate and the chairperson and
minority chairperson of the Appropriations Committee of the
House of Representatives and post the report on the agency's
publicly accessible Internet website. The report shall include
the following information:
(1) The total number of landlords who applied for
assistance under this section.
(2) The total number of mortgagees who applied for
assistance under this section.
(3) The total amount of assistance that was sought.
(4) The average amount of assistance that was applied
for under this section.
(5) The average amount of assistance that was provided
under this section.
(6) The total number of landlords and mortgagees who
received assistance under this section by county.
(7) The value of payments made by the agency under this
section by county.
Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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