Applications for CARES Act Assistance for Renters and Homeowners to Open June 29

June 17th, 2020

HARRISBURG – Renters and homeowners who were financially impacted by the economic slowdown related
to the coronavirus pandemic will be able to access applications for rent and mortgage relief
starting June 29. At that time, applications will be easily accessible from a red banner on the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s website at PHFA is administering both programs.

PHFA is currently identifying organizations in all 67 counties to help it process the large number
of rent relief applications anticipated. People will submit their applications and supporting
paperwork to these county organizations for review.

The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in March, provided
$3.9 billion for Pennsylvania and is intended to help people hurt economically during the pandemic.
In late May, the General Assembly directed $175 million of these CARES dollars to PHFA to provide
assistance for struggling renters and homeowners. The portion for rent assistance is at least $150
million, and $25 million was set aside for mortgage assistance.

During June, in a period of about four weeks, PHFA is developing detailed programs for distributing
this financial assistance quickly to people in need while following legislative requirements. The
agency will begin accepting completed applications for rent and mortgage assistance on July 6.

“Our goal is to make this financial assistance available as quickly and easily as possible while
ensuring applicants meet the eligibility requirements established by the state legislature,” said
Robin Wiessmann, PHFA executive director and CEO. “Keeping people in their homes is essential for
our economic recovery, and we are grateful that the General Assembly and Governor Wolf recognize
that stable housing provides the foundation on which to build that recovery.”

For renters to be eligible for financial assistance under the CARES Rent Relief Program (RRP), they
will need to document at least a 30% reduction in annual income since March 1 related to COVID-19,
or they must have become unemployed after March 1. If unemployed, they must have filed for
unemployment compensation with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Their household
income cannot exceed the Area Median Income for their county of residence, adjusted for the number
of people in their home.

Renters who qualify may receive assistance equal to 100% of their monthly rent up to $750 a month
for a maximum of six months of assistance for the time period between March 1 and November 30,

Payments will be made to their landlord on their behalf. Renters or landlords can apply for rent
relief for apartment tenants, but renters are responsible for submitting all the documents needed
to ensure their eligibility.

Homeowners who became unemployed after March 1 or who suffered at least a 30% reduction in annual
income due to reduced work hours and wages related to COVID-19 may be eligible for financial
assistance to help with missed mortgage payments. To qualify for the Pandemic Mortgage Assistance
Program (PMAP), they must be an owner-occupant of their residence, the dwelling must consist of one
or two separate units, the mortgage must be at least 30 days delinquent, and the homeowner’s annual
household income must not exceed the Area Median Income for their county of residence, adjusted for
the number of people in their home.

The assistance available for homeowners can be up to $1,000 a month for a maximum period of six
months. The time period eligible for assistance is for mortgage payments owed from March 2020
through December 2020, however any CARES assistance provided must be disbursed by Nov. 30, 2020.
Financial assistance payments through this program will be made directly to the mortgagee.
Homeowners or their lenders can apply for mortgage relief, but homeowners are responsible for
providing all the documents needed to determine their eligibility.

Applications for both rent and mortgage assistance will be easily accessible from PHFA’s homepage
starting June 29. At that time, people will be able to click in a red banner on the website to
access the applications and other helpful background information. The red banner is already live on
the site advising people of the date applications will be available.

The agency’s call center is available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist the public and help
with questions about the programs. The toll-free number is 1-855-U-Are-Home (827-3466). Callers
should  listen for the prompt mentioning CARES assistance for renters and homeowners. The county
organizations to which CARES applications are submitted will also have webpages offering useful

The CARES funding for renters and homeowners must be completely distributed by Nov. 30, 2020,
although it is expected the assistance will be exhausted before the deadline because of the
tremendous need by people hurt financially by the pandemic.

About PHFA

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency works to provide affordable homeownership and rental
housing options for older adults, low- and moderate-income families, and people with special
housing needs. Through its carefully managed mortgage programs and investments in multifamily
housing developments, PHFA also promotes economic development across the state. Since its creation
by the legislature in 1972, it has generated nearly $14.6 billion of funding for more than 178,325
single-family home mortgage loans, helped fund the construction of 136,215 rental units,
distributed more than $109.2 million to support local housing initiatives, and saved the homes of
more than 50,300 families from foreclosure. PHFA programs and operations are funded primarily by
the sale of securities and from fees paid by program users, not by public tax dollars. The agency
is governed by a 14-member board.