Can’t Pay Your Rent? There’s Help Available
Pittsburgh and Allegheny County renters can apply for aid through state and local funds.
The pandemic’s economic turmoil is making it difficult for some to continue to pay their rent or mortgage. There is help available if you know where to look.
The CARES Rent Relief Program began accepting applications on July 6. Statewide distributions will pool from a $150 million fund for rental assistance and a $25 million fund for mortgage assistance.
Tenants in Allegheny County and Pittsburgh are eligible for up to $750 a month as well as up to $200 a month for utility payments and court costs.
“We are fortunate to be able to provide this program to those in our community most impacted by COVID-19,” County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says in a press release.
In order to qualify for aid, renters must receive a household income at or below the area median income — which is $83,000 for a four-person household — in addition to a 30% income reduction or having become unemployed since March 1.
Landlords can apply for aid as well, so long as they waive standing rent or related fees and agree to not evict renters for 60 days after they receive assistance.
County landlords and residents also can enroll in the Landlord-Tenant Mediation Program, which provides a third-party member of Just Mediation Pittsburgh to intercede in rental disputes for free.
City renters can also apply for aid from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh through the Housing Stabilization Program. If a renter receives funding from both sources, the allocations must cover different months.
Through the Housing Stabilization Program, city residents can receive up to $3,000 for rent, mortgage, legal and utility assistance. Renters need to fall below 50% of the area median income — which is $41,500 for a family of four — and below 80% for homeowners, which is $66,400 for a family of four.
City renters who filed an eviction appeal with the Pittsburgh Housing Court and make less than 50% of the area median income can apply for the Housing Stabilization Program Eviction Prevention program. Renters cannot apply for both programs.
“One of our goals is to help those in need avoid evictions and other financial catastrophes before they happen,” Mayor Bill Peduto says in a press release.
Gov. Tom Wolf has extended the previous moratorium on evictions and foreclosures through Aug. 31 for those who don’t receive funding.
See more eligibility requirements and instructions for applying here.