IMPORTANT: At the direction of Governor Tom Wolf, the application deadline for this program has been extended to November 4, 2020.
HELP Ministries (a program of Christian Churches United) is pleased to partner with Dauphin County and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency to make federal CARES funding available for tenants in Dauphin County who are behind on their rent due to unemployment/loss of employment income since March 1, 2020. Here is what you need to know about who is eligible for the CARES Rent Relief Program (RRP) and how to apply.
Lessees whose annual income is at or below the amounts listed below and have either:
1. Become unemployed after March 1, 2020 OR
2. Have seen decreased income after March 1, 2020 of at least 30% from their pre-COVID income due to a reduction in employment income
Here are the income limits for Dauphin County:
In order to be eligible, lessees must also:
• Provide a copy of a signed lease (or in the case of a verbal lease, a piece of official mail showing occupancy) for the unit they are renting along with documentation of ALL income from Jan. 1, 2020 through the months requesting assistance.
• Have a landlord who is willing to agree not to begin any eviction proceedings for any other outstanding housing expenses for at least 60 days from the final month for which CARES RRP assistance funds are provided,
• Have a landlord who can certify that their property taxes are up to date and the leased apartment meets required Housing Quality Standards.
Each lessee who meets the above criteria and provides the required application forms and documentation is eligible for up to $750/month for the months that they can document a 30% reduction from pre-COVID income, up to a maximum of six months between March 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.
Three documents MUST be submitted in order to apply for the CARES RRP. The forms can be downloaded from the links below, or you can request the forms be mailed to you by calling the HELP Ministries office at 717-238-2851. As can be seen, landlords and tenants must work together on the application packet, as the lessee must sign one form and provide documentation and the landlord must sign two forms.
Along with these three forms, lessee applicants must provide documentation of all income from January 1, 2020 through the time of the application as well as a copy of their signed lease.
Applications will be accepted starting July 6, 2020 and all applications must be submitted by
September 30, 2020 November 4, 2020 (DEADLINE EXTENDED).
Applications can be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or dropped off or mailed to HELP Ministries, Attn: CARES RRP, 413 S. 19th St., Harrisburg, PA 17104. Residents in the northern part of Dauphin County can also drop off their application at the Northern Dauphin Human Service Center, 295 State Dr, Elizabethville, PA 17023
It will generally take at least 10 days to two weeks to process RRP applications and release assistance to landlords (all payments will be made directly to the landlord). This is largely due to the requirement that we verify ALL applicants’ unemployment status with the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry. Lessees are not required to have submitted for unemployment to be eligible, but we must check their status.
A written notification of assistance will be provided to all lessee applicants in writing through mail or e-mail.
There is a moratorium on evictions nation-wide for tenants who declare they meet certain requirements, issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), but the tenant MUST submit this declaration form to their landlord in order to be protected from eviction if they meet those requirements.
If you need rent relief help but are not in Dauphin County, please see the CARES Rent Relief Program County Contact List for the resource providers in other Pennsylvania counties.
If you are a homeowner looking for mortgage assistance, please visit the The CARES Pandemic Mortgage Assistance Program on the PHFA website.
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