Hapco Philadelphia weighs in with the news media after several Philadelphia City Council Members proposed making the City’s Eviction Diversion Program permanent.

Lawmakers also called for more money to help pay rental owners who are owed back rent.

Read Hapco Philadelphia’s full press release statement:

“It is too soon to make the eviction diversion program permanent as there are a lot of issues that still need to be worked out before that can be done.

For starters, we still do not have any official regulations for administering this program.  Decisions are being made on the fly without going through the normal channels for adopting regulations.

Additionally, the diversion program should only apply to landlord tenant cases for non-payment of rent where the amount owed qualifies the tenant for rental assistance.   The main purpose for the diversion program is to allow the tenant time to get rental assistance.  There is no reason any other case should have to go to diversion.

Finally, the diversion program should only be mandatory AFTER a landlord tenant complaint is filed.  Any pre-filing diversion program should only be a voluntary program where both parties agree that it would be helpful.  Keep in mind, when a tenant is behind in the rent or there is some other violation of the lease that has occurred, before the landlord files for eviction, they have tried to work with the tenant to resolve any outstanding issues.  No landlord wants to file for eviction. But when they are forced to do so, there is no reason they should have to wait an additional 30 days before they can file if rental assistance is not available to the tenant.

Based on the above, at this time, the program should only be extended for one year to allow the city to work through all these issues before it is made permanent.  Regarding the rental assistance funding increase, rental property owners are absolutely in favor of that.”


Paul Cohen
HAPCO Philadelphia, General Counsel