City Announces Additional $30 Million in Funding for Rental Assistance and Small Business Relief

Rental Assistance
Federal CARES Act funding allowed the City to provide two phases of rental assistance to help tenants and landlords impacted by the pandemic-creating PHLRentAssist[1]. Nearly 13,000 Philadelphians applied for Phase 1[2] rental assistance, which is serving 4,000 households with up to $2,500 in aid. Phase 2[3] rental assistance was made possible by Pennsylvania’s PA-CARES Rent Relief Program, which allows the City to serve over 10,000 additional households.

Of the additional $30 million announced today, $20 million is committed to providing rental assistance for tenants who were eligible and applied for PHLRentAssist Phase 2, but their landlord did not respond. These tenants will now be able to receive a one-time payment. This payment is the tenant’s rent amount (not to exceed $1,500 per month) for up to six months of assistance; maximum total assistance is $9,000. This new funding will help the City serve an estimated additional 4,000 households that are in need and facing housing insecurity.

“Direct rental assistance is critical to ensuring public health and housing security for thousands of Philadelphians,” said City Councilmember Maria Quinones Sanchez. “I am particularly encouraged that City Council, the Administration, and the Courts collaborated with renters and property owners to simplify this program. I look forward to continued public-private partnership as we chart a New Normal.”

“We’re proud that we’ve been able to serve thousands of tenants and landlords through our rent assistance programs. But thousands of other tenants could not get help because of the requirement that their landlord also apply,” said Greg Heller, Senior Vice President of Community Investment at PHDC. “We do not want landlords’ lack of response or participation to prevent these families from getting the help they need to keep a roof over their heads.”

Small Business Relief
Of the $30 million, $10 million is committed to providing small business relief through the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance program[4]. This new funding will be used to provide grants for some of the Philadelphia-based applicants who remained unfunded after the second round of grants announced by the Commonwealth. This $10 million is in addition to the $20 million that was committed to the Commonwealth’s business relief program in September[5], which will also fund some Philadelphia businesses who were unfunded after the second round of grants from the program. This funding—$30 million dollars in total including the commitment the City made in September—is expected to provide relief to an additional 1,500 businesses in the city.

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