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Chester County Government News

Posted on: April 8, 2021

County Receives $34.5 Million for Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance for County Residents

Individuals and families in Chester County who are facing challenges in paying rent and utility bills brought on by the pandemic, can receive help through the Chester County Emergency Rent & Utility Assistance Program.  

 Chester County has received $34.5 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury and the PA Department of Human Services, to help cover emergency rental and utility bills for individuals and families who have been severely impacted by COVID-19.  

 “The uncertainties and challenges brought on by the pandemic that have been faced by some of our county’s residents, can be overwhelming,” said Pat Bokovitz, Director of the Chester County Department of Community Development. “The emergency rent and utility funding lets those who qualify stay in their homes and cover the cost of basic living expenses, which is tremendous.”   

 “We are pleased to serve as administrator of these funds, and will work with county partners to make the application process simple and fast,” adds Bokovitz.

 Watch the webinar that explains who qualifies and how to apply.  

 The rent and utility grants are available to individuals and families in Chester County who are obligated to pay rent and who:

  1.  Qualify for unemployment or have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
  2. Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; 
  3. Have a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median - family of 1 = $54,150 and family of 4 = $77,300. (Amount may be subject to change.)

 Those who are eligible can use the emergency rent and utility funding to pay for outstanding rent, electricity, gas, water and sewer; and energy costs such as fuel oil or propane, over a 15-month period.  

 To apply for funding, residents should call 211 and request rent and utility assistance. Three housing organizations – Friends Association, the Housing Authority of Chester County, and Open Hearth, Inc., will work with the applicants, to process payments to landlords and utility providers.  

 “We want to keep Chester County families in their homes and this funding will help to do that,” said Bokovitz. “We encourage everyone who needs the funding to take part in the webinar, ask questions, and apply for funding.” 

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