Pennsylvania Financial Programs that Help with Rent


alt="Pennsylvania rental assistance"

Pennsylvania Assistance programs.  Do you need financial help with rent?  These programs are meant to offer financial help to people who cannot afford their rent. Most rental assistance programs offer aid or affordable housing for individuals or families that need it during hard times. There are government and non-profit housing assistance programs that are available to residents of Pennsylvania. Knowing what various rental assistance programs do will put you in a better position to decide the best course of action.

Who is Eligible for Pennsylvania Rent Assistance Programs?

CARES Rent Relief Program

CARES rental assistance programs help renters who are unemployed or have faced income cuts from an employer. In 2020, CARES also included renters who could not meet their rent because of the COVID 19 pandemic. The programs can help with rent 100% or to a tune of $750, whichever is lower. They also offer mortgage payment assistant to a tune of $1,000 for a maximum duration of six months.

How CARES Helps

The CARES program in Pennsylvania is the most extensive rental assistance program in Pennsylvania, and it is a multi-million dollar project overseen by Governor Wolf. It is a well-funded program and can help many renters needing help.  Residents of Pennsylvania are encouraged to submit applications by 30th September for consideration in future disbursement.

The organization specializes in helping seniors, young adults, individuals with medical bills.  Also, they help those unable to pay rent.  Applications that arrive after the deadline are not considered for approval, so renters must submit applications on time.

Also, carefully fill out the application to increase the possibility of getting assistance.  You can reach the organization for more details on weekdays 8-5 on a toll-free number (1-855-827-3466). The funds do not come from taxpayer money, but most of the fund comes from securities sales. Community Progress Council Rental Assistance Program

Phone: 1-855-827-3466

Community Progress Council Rental Assistance Program

Community Progress Council has offices in York, Pennsylvania.  They offer rental assistance to renters who need financial help with rent and other bills.   Their rental assistance program aims to prevent families from becoming homeless. Individual renters can receive a maximum of $750 every 24 months. Renters with children are eligible to receive a maximum of $1,000 in 24 months.

Additionally, renters can receive funds for security deposits, rental delinquencies, and first-month rent when moving to a new location. You will have to apply for the rental assistance program and wait for approval before receiving any financial help. Provide all the documents requested in the application and proof of why you cannot meet your rental assistance requirements.

  • Phone: 717-771-5110

Do not wait until the last money to seek help. As soon as you know you are going to be late with the rent, contact the Landlord.  You will find that many will work with you when you explain your situation.  If you have been sick, laid off, etc.  See if you can make short-term arrangements to catch up.  If the property owners will not work with you, try contacting local, churches and charities that help with bills.  

When Can a Landlord Evict Me?

A landlord can legally evict you for different reasons:

  • You do not pay the rent
  • The rules of the lease are broken. 
  • You have several unresolved complaints by neighbors

The landlord has to give you written notice that you are being evicted.  If you are being evicted for nonpayment, you must be given 1- day’s notice before the eviction is filed.  This will give you time to come up with the rent or go to a community agency to get help paying the rent. If you feel you have a good reason for non-payment of rent you can go to court to file a complaint.  Eviction laws vary from state to state, so for more information contact Legal Aid in Pennsylvania.  or the Department of Human Services.

Pennsylvania Homeless Assistance Program (HAP)

HAP is a Pennsylvania state program under the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, and it helps renters who face the risk of being evicted. The office provides suggestions for the best rental assistance programs suitable for your needs. You can also get your local office contacts when you need to talk to someone about your upcoming eviction.

Renters can get emergency funds for rent, security deposits, moving costs, mortgage, and other rental-related issues. The program aims to help people who are facing the imminent possibility of becoming homeless. Other programs include shelters for evicted families, individuals and affordable housing search assistant for renters who want to relocate.

There are local departments across the states in Pennsylvania, and they manage disbursals, shelters and helping homeless individuals find affordable units. Also, they can offer assistance in dealing with eviction notices from a landlord.

Phone: 1-800-692-7462

When you Need Transitional Housing

If you have lost your home, you may qualify for temporary, transitional housing (bridge housing).  Sometimes, it is easier to get help after being placed in a shelter or some bridge housing.  It is called bridge housing because it is a bridge to a permanent dwelling.  Apartment owners delegate some apartments to help families. 

The government and private gifts subsidize the rent. Once you are placed in a temporary apartment or shelter, you are charged according to you your income and ability to pay.  You can receive assistance from government and private charities until you are ready to move into a permanent home.

Bridge Housing – Questions and Answers

PHFA Search for Affordable Rental Housing Program

One solution for renters who cannot come up with their rent or mortgage is to find them affordable housing units that meet their needs. The rent programs help renters and homeowners who are struggling with mortgage payment find affordable housing. The website has a locator that finds something that fits your income and your housing needs.

You can talk to staff on weekdays between 9 am and 8 pm to get the best advice on what to do next. Staffs assist in finding something in the neighborhood that you desire near your work or home. Overall, the rental program helps homeowners and renters find something within their financial capacity before getting evicted.

Phone: 1-877-428-8844

The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare has resources on various community shelters and rental assistance shelters spread across the 67 counties in the state. Renters and homeowners can get help in finding local charities and government programs that help with rent. Furthermore, the office has a list of shelters in different states that take in homeless people until they find suitable housing.

Pennsylvania Community Shelters and Charities

Additionally, any reputable charity, government organization, or community program will register with the department for transparency purposes. You can be sure you will be connected to a legitimate program that offers financial assistance to renters. You can also get a referral to programs that deal with specific demographics like veterans or single mothers. Overall, it would be best if you didn’t try finding a local rent assistance program without contacting the local office of Public Welfare.

How to Apply for Pennsylvania Rent Assistance Programs 

Rent assistance programs require you to fill in an application with a few pertinent details for filing reasons. Applicants must submit their names, identification, proof of financial constraint, current address, monthly rent or mortgage payments, rent or mortgage arrears, and members in a household, among other fields.

All the information collected factors into the final decisions of providing financial aid to anyone facing eviction. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, which is why you need to submit your application at the earliest time possible.

Most programs provide forms online that you can download and print, but a few programs still require renters or homeowners to pick hardcopies at their offices. You can ask a family member to help you fill in the application or visit the nearest office for the program for help. Some applications are purely online and may require you to go to the cyber if you don’t have Wi-Fi at home. 

Filling out an Application for Housing

Filling in an application form is a prerequisite to rent assistance program committees that decides an applicant’s eligibility. Some organizations do a follow-up screening process through a phone interview or a face-to-face meeting. It is part of the screening process to ensure that applicants who get the stamp of approval need financial assistance.

After approval, you may receive funds equivalent to your monthly rent, rent arrears, mortgage payments, or equivalent of the organization’s maximum financial aid, whichever is lower. Payments may be made out directly to your landlord for rent or to the back for mortgage payments. Overall, financial aid can prevent you from becoming homeless and give you some time to get your finances in order.

General steps for Applying for Rental Assistance.

  • Visit the website for a rental assistance program and download the application forms.
  • Fill in the relevant fields in the application forms truthfully and to the best of your knowledge. Programs tend to check the authenticity of an application, so do not lie about your current circumstances.
  • Attach a photo for identification and documents to prove your financial constraints. Documents can be termination letters, pay cut notifications, or a bank statement showing your income ability.
  • Attach a rent invoice as proof of the amount you pay for rent when requesting future rental payments.
  • Include rental arrears if you are seeking help due to rental delinquency.
  • Attach an eviction notice if you seek help to avoid being homeless due to the inability to pay rent.
  • Send or drop off the application to the relevant offices.

What Happens After I Apply?

Filling in an application form is a prerequisite to receiving help with rent.  Committees decide an applicant’s eligibility. Some organizations do a follow-up screening process through a phone interview or a face-to-face meeting. It is part of the screening process to ensure that applicants who get the stamp of approval need financial assistance.

After approval, you may receive funds equivalent to your monthly rent, rent arrears, mortgage payments, or equivalent of the organization’s maximum financial aid, whichever is lower. Payments may be made out directly to your landlord for rent or to the back for mortgage payments. Overall, financial aid can prevent you from becoming homeless and give you some time to get your finances in order.

Conclusion

It is usual for people to fall into financial hard times due to a pandemic or a bad economy. When you find yourself in such a situation, you can apply for financial aid from a rent assistance program to help pay your rent or mortgage.  Rental assistance programs do not discriminate as they aim to avoid having homeless individuals or families on the street.

Most programs do consider the urgency of a situation when offering to help with rent. Still, applicants should submit applications early for consideration before being evicted. You can reach any of the rent assistance programs above in Pennsylvania to get help fast.

Housing Resources

Commission on Economic Opportunity
Homelessness and Homeless Prevention
100 West Broad Street Suite 11
Broad Street Exchange Bldg.
Hazleton, PA 18201
570-455-4994

165 Amber Lane
Wilkes Barre, PA 18702
570-826-0510


Community Action Partnership for Somerset County
Homeless financial assistance program
535 East Main Street
Somerset, PA 15501
814-445-9628

Community Action Partnership of Cambria County
Homeless Financial Assistance Program
516 Main Street
Johnstown, PA 15901
814-536-9031

Family Promise Transitional Housing – Monroe County
905 Main Street
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
570-420-8589

Home4Good – Pike County – Family Promises of Monroe County
506 Broad Street
Milford, PA 18337
570-420-8589

Futures Community Support Services, Inc.
Homeless Assistance Program 23 Main Street
Towanda, PA 18848
570-265-3899

Gatehouse Transitional Housing and Care Center
21 Gatehouse Drive
Danville, PA 17821
570-275-6766

Good Samaritan Services 
Emergency Shelter & Residential Housing for single women with children
25 West Locust Street
Ephrata, PA 17522

717-733-3395

1516 Olive Street
Coatesville, PA 19320
610-380-1360

Grace Connection – Emergency Shelter
One Main Street
Christ Episcopal Church Basement
Towanda, PA 18848
570-268-0431

HAVEN Women
Short-term housing for women
4108 Baltimore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19104
267-292-2052 

Pennsylvania American Legion 

Housing for Homeless Veterans
800 N. Front Street
Wormleysburg, PA 17043
717-730-9100

Bridge of Hope Chester County – Neighboring
1 North Bacton Hill Road
Malvern, PA 19341
610-280-0280

Human Services Development Fund County Locations

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