To combat an anticipated increase in evictions due to COVID-19, the Chester County Commissioners approved this week $1.8 million in CARES funding to help cover rental payments and additional services for those with job and income losses.
“Previous programs have provided up to $750 in rental assistance, but that’s simply not enough to cover the cost of housing in Chester County,” said Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz. “This additional funding is intended to provide a more practical option for families who have lost income due to COVID-19.”
“This program provides for payment to be made within 48 hours, once all application forms are submitted with the necessary documentation,” said Commissioner Josh Maxwell. “This is key for families facing eviction, when time is of the essence.”
The assistance is for individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic who are unable to pay their rent due to job or income loss, and are in danger of becoming homeless without assistance. The funding will be disbursed by the Housing Authority of Chester County to implement its Homeless Prevention and Rental Assistance Program, and will complement additional funding that the County and the PA Housing Finance Agency have provided.
“We want to keep Chester County families in their homes. This funding is intended to prevent them from moving into emergency shelters, places not intended for habitation or other homeless situations” said Commissioner Michelle Kichline.
Qualified applicants can receive assistance that may cover up to a six-month period beginning March 1, 2020. Eligible renters must show income loss due to the loss of their job related to the COVID-19 pandemic and a reduction of 30 percent or more of family income when compared to the level of income prior to March 1, 2020. The household must also have family income below the Chester County median income limits.
Renters meeting the criteria of this rental assistance program should contact 211 and ask for assistance with rent payments.