With the eviction moratorium set to expire at the end of the month, the City of Philadelphia is urging tenants who are facing COVID-related financial hardships and potential eviction to apply for emergency rental assistance.

Ali Mooney, Housing Programs Manager at the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, held a virtual training seminar today, teaching landlords how to apply.

As of June 22, PHDC has received 32,697 total applications. About eight thousand have been reviewed, with an approval rate of approximately 60%. So far the city has approved nearly $21 million dollars to help tenants pay their back and future rent. The City of Philadelphia has been appropriated $150 million for the program, which does not currently have an end-date. The program is funded through Congressional passage of the Covid Relief Package in December and the American Rescue Plan Act in March. The city is currently reviewing approximately 500 to 600 applications a day, and an average wait for a decision is 45 to 50 days after submission, Mooney said.

Tenants are eligible if their household income is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (for a family of four, that’s $76,600), can show a financial hardship as a result of COVID, and can demonstrate a risk of homeless, such as past-due rent or receiving an eviction notice. The assistance will pay as much as $2,000 a month for up to 18 months, including backrent since April, 2020. Tenants could also receive up to $2,000 each for payments to PGW (gas), PWD (water), and PECO (electric), paid directly to the utility. None of this money is paid back.

In the virtual seminar, Mooney trained landlords on how to apply online, including linking tenant-landlord applications, providing the proper banking and property ownership documents, and reviewed the most common mistakes applicants make that can delay processing.

Upon approval, payments are usually made within two to three weeks.

The event was sponsored by HAPCO Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Apartment Association.

For more information, go to phlrentassist.org.

Watch the training seminar below.