When will applications be open?
Please note: Due to heavy volume, the application system may be slow. You may receive an error message or have trouble saving your application. Please keep trying. Once you save your application, you can try again later. If you are still having issues, please contact our Help Desk. Your patience is appreciated.
For the information you may need to complete the Tenant Application please click here.
How much money is available?
This new round of funding was authorized by the federal government, and Philadelphia will have about $97 million. We estimate that this will be able to help 10,000-15,000 renters.
Can tenants and landlords who received support from Phases 1, 2 and 3 apply again?
Yes, you can apply again. You just cannot receive assistance for a month where you already got assistance from Phases 1, 2 and 3 of PHLRentAssist.
What is required of landlords?
- Payment must be applied towards the approved tenant’s rent for months after April 2020.
- Landlord may not begin any eviction proceedings for 90 days from the last month in which the landlord received assistance from this program.
- Other requirements may apply. Check back for more information.
Do funds go to tenants or landlords?
Payments for rent will go to landlords, but if a landlord refuses the funds or does not respond, then payments can go directly to tenants. Payments for utilities will go directly to the utility companies.
Who Can Apply?
- Landlords and tenants can apply. If a landlord applies, their tenant must be eligible, and they must get written consent from their tenant.
- Applicants who received funds in Phases 1-3 of PHLRentAssist are eligible to apply for Phase 4, however, applicants may not receive funds for any months for which they have previously been paid.
- Applicants also cannot receive payment for any rent or utility costs for which they received federal, state, or local rental assistance for the same costs.
Tenants are eligible if they meet all three of these criteria:
- Have a household income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) (see Income Guidelines table below.)
- Qualify for unemployment benefits; or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced some other financial hardship due to COVID-19.
- Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability. Tenants can meet this criteria if they have any past-due rent, past due utilities, received an eviction notice, or paying over one third of their household income on rent.
What documents will I need to apply?
Landlords will need documents that show they own the property if their name is different from what is on the deed.
Property managers will need a document showing that they have authority to make decisions and accept payment for the property owner.
Tenants may need documents to demonstrate their income. We are waiting for further federal guidance on document requirements for tenants.
Is there any preference for certain tenants?
Yes, the federal legislation says that tenants who have a household income under 50% of Area Median Income (AMI) (see Income Guidelines table below),or who were unemployed for more than 90 days should receive preference.
How much assistance can I get from Phase 4?
- Rent assistance can be provided for up to 18 months total, including back rent and forward rent. However, no more than 3 months of forward rent can be provided at one time. Tenants who receive 3 months of forward rent and have not exceeded the 18 months of total assistance, may reapply for another 3 months of forward rent.
- Applicants with rent arrears must satisfy at least one month of those arrears before applying for forward rent.
- Assistance may only be provided for months of rent after April 2020.
- The total amount of rent assistance cannot exceed $2,000 per month, and that amount may include late fees or other charges passed on by the landlord.
- Utility payments can be provided for up to 18 months total.
- Utility payments must have been accrued on or after March 13, 2020.
- Utility payments can only be for the current month and past due utility payments (assistance is not available for future months’ utility bills).
- Utility assistance can provide up to $2,000 for PGW (gas), $2,000 for Philadelphia Water Department, and $2,000 for PECO (electric).
- Utility payments will go directly to the utility providers. If landlords pass on utility costs to their tenants, assistance for those costs may be included in the rent section.
How will I be able to apply?
We will accept online applications through this website (PHLRentAssist.org). You will also be able to work with one of our housing counselors to fill out an application by phone.
How will payments be received?
All payments will be by electronic ACH payment. If you do not have a bank account, we can make payments to some payment apps or to prepaid debit cards that support ACH.
If an application is incomplete, we will provide the opportunity to resubmit information. If an application is marked as Denied, that means that it does not meet program eligibility. If an applicant believes that their application was denied in error, they may appeal the decision. Applicants may request an appeal at the Philadelphia county level by contacting the PHLRentAssist Help Desk here. Staff will then review the application and determine whether the original determination was correct. Applicants may also appeal to the State by writing to DHS Office of Hearings and Appeals, P.O. Box 2675, Harrisburg, PA 17105.