Statewide rent relief program to provide $750 a month to those in Dauphin County who lost income during COVID-19 pandemic

HARRISBURG, PA (June 29, 2020) Financial assistance is now available for renters and property owners who experienced job loss or a substantial loss of income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“There are hundreds of landlord-tenant filings at our magisterial district judges’ offices,” said Dauphin County Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III. “We don’t want to see any tenants evicted as a result of this public health crisis.”

A total of $150 million in funding is available to all 67 counties in the state through the Pennsylvania CARES Rent Relief Program, or CARES RRP, that was established by Act 24 of 2020. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), which is administering the program on behalf of the state, will allocate a different amount to each county based on population and need.

“If you’re struggling to make rent or mortgage payments, this program may help,” said Dauphin County Board Chairman Jeff Haste. “It’s been a very difficult time for those left without a paycheck if their employer had to close during the pandemic.”

Lessees seeking CARES RRP assistance must be able to provide the following information to demonstrate eligibility:

  • Tenant pay stubs or income statements for the three months prior to the period for which funding is being requested;
  • Two forms filled out by the landlord indicating his/her agreement to participate in the program;
  • A copy of the lease to verify rent; and
  • Documentation to verify unemployment with the state Department of Labor and Industry’s Bureau of Unemployment Compensation.

CARES RRP funds may be used to assist eligible households with up to six months of rent incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020. The maximum amount of assistance provided per lessee per month is $750.

“This is a historic opportunity to help those who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables,” said Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries. “Although we’re now in the green phase of reopening, many families are still hurting financially.”

The commissioners have selected the HELP Ministries program of Christian Churches United (CCU) to administer the program in Dauphin County.

“We are excited to be able to help make this assistance available to our community,” said CCU Executive Director Darrel Reinford. “We are still getting program details from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and look forward to processing applications on July 6.”

The CARES RRP applications are available at starting June 29, and applications will be accepted by mail or drop-off at HELP Ministries, 413 S. 19th St. Harrisburg or by e-mail starting on July 6. The deadline to apply for assistance is September 30, 2020.