In a letter to Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation, state lawmakers and Philadelphia City Council, Hapco Philadelphia President Greg Wertman outlined the urgency for continued financial assistance to help landlords impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, recent eviction moratoriums, and court decisions that put tenants’ interests over those of property owners. The results are dramatic.

Wertman cited various recent studies that show small “mom and pop” landlords are being disproportionately impacted, leading to nearly 21% of Philadelphia rental properties being listed for sale in 2020, compared to an average of 3% annually over the past ten years.  Small landlords provide a majority of affordable housing in the city, and the mass selling of these properties, which are usually then converted into owner-occupied homes, will devastate the quantity of available rental stock. As a result, Philadelphia’s population is declining.

Wertman urged the re-funding of the city’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which has provided money to some landlords whose tenants hadn’t paid rent in months, and in some cases, a year or longer. But these federal funds allocated to the city are running low, and 65% of those landlords who applied won’t see any assistance unless more federal money becomes available. In his December 8 letter, Wertman urged city, state and federal leaders to take immediate action.