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HELP WITH HOUSING DURING COVID-19

In Council News, Featured, News, Uncategorized by PHL Council

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Cross-posted with the City’s Department of Planning and Development

COVID-19 coronavirus restrictions will leave many families with reduced or no income. As a result, paying for housing will become a challenge for some.

There are resources available to help Philadelphia renters and homeowners facing housing issues. There are also steps we can take to help housing markets recover from the impact of COVID-19.

General

Many of the City-funded housing counseling agencies are operating remotely. If your issue is not addressed in the sections below, please reach out to one of them. Information about many housing issues is available in the Division of Housing and Community Development’s Housing Resource Guide.

Homelessness

For those experiencing homelessness or facing homelessness, the City’s homeless intake centers are open. There are specific resources available for survivors of domestic violence and youth ages 12-17.

Eviction

All eviction and lockout proceedings have been suspended until at least March 29. Some have been suspended longer. Community Legal Services has a comprehensive overview of the status of eviction proceedings. The Philadelphia Housing Authority has also updated its eviction policies.

Foreclosure

Most mortgage and tax foreclosure proceedings have been suspended. Sheriff sales for these activities have been postponed as well. The CLS overview also includes information about foreclosures.

Mortgage and tax foreclosures and Sheriff sales will resume at some point. Homeowners concerned about foreclosure can call the City-funded SaveYourHomePhilly hotline at 214-334-HOME (4663).

Those facing financial hardship may find mortgage lenders are willing to adjust monthly payments. If you are unable to pay your mortgage contact your lender to see what options you may have.

Utilities

There will be no gas, electric, water or landline phone shutoffs in Philadelphia until at least May 1. In addition, the Philadelphia Water Department will restore service to delinquent customers whose service has been terminated. The reactivation fee will be waived. PGW and PECO are waiving new late payment charges through at least May 1.

First-time Homebuyer Assistance

The City of Philadelphia offers help to first-time homebuyers through its Philly First Home program run by PHDC. However, while PHDC offices are closed due to COVID-19, PHDC will not accept Philly First Home applications. PHDC has completed processing all approved applications. Grant funds and documents for previously approved applications will be sent directly to the title company. Clients may want to contact their lender and title company to postpone settlement if the Philly First Home grant funds are required for closing. PHDC will begin accepting applications once its offices reopen.

Home Repair Programs

Philadelphia helps homeowners with emergency repairs to basic systems through its Basic Systems Repair Program. It also helps residents with disabilities have greater access to and mobility within the home through the Adaptive Modifications Program. PHDC runs these programs. While PHDC offices are closed due to COVID-19, PHDC will not accept applications for these programs. PHDC will begin accepting applications once its offices reopen.

Role of the Federal and State Governments

COVID-19 will have short- and long-term impacts on renters, homeowners, landlords and developers. Congress and the President, as well as the Pennsylvania legislature and the Governor, can take steps now to support our residents and businesses. Temporary assistance, rental payment insurance, free wi fi, small business loans and long-term funding can all support the housing market.

Take Action! Find out how you can help in our COVID Affordable Housing Action Guide.

 

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