National A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a request to block a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order that prohibits landlords nationwide from evicting certain tenants who fail to pay rent amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The moratorium is set to expire July 31, 2021. NAA is asking all of our members to TAKE ACTION and contact your congressional leaders to put pressure on the CDC and remove the eviction moratorium.
White House Eviction Prevention Summit PAA participated in a White House Summit in conjunction with NAA. We heard from HUD Secretary, Marcia Fudge and other Presidential Advisors concerning their desire to work on Eviction Prevention.
The White House and aides were encouraging eviction prevention programs like diversion and mediation. They were suggesting that large cities throughout the nation should adopt the Philadelphia Diversion Program. Members of the judicial branch encouraged their counterparts in other states to follow the Philadelphia model and mandate diversion and mediation through the courts.
PAA shared our concerns and disappointments with mediation and diversion. We appreciate all of our members feedback on these programs and would love to hear more from you regarding your experience with mandated mediation.
State News Housing Highlights from the PA State Budget The General Assembly passed the fiscal year 2021-2022 state budget on Friday, June 25th. The Pennsylvania Housing Tax Credit, which was created last legislative session but not funded, was fully funded at $10 million annually. The Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program (ERAP 1) administered through PA Act 1 was amended. The state increased the portion of funds counties can use to administer the program from 5% to 9.09%. Deadlines for spending obligations were also extended to better align with extensions granted under the American Rescue Plan. The amendment also included a provision that PAA requested. The language prohibits counties from imposing additional restrictions on ERAP funding. PAA is working with officials to determine if this also applies to counties who receive direct funding.
The second round of the ERAP from the American Rescue Plan (ERAP 2.0) state directed funds was created. The portions of funding for administering the program and housing stability are the same as in the federal legislation.
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency Construction Cost Relief Program was created. It provides $50,000,000 to assist affordable housing developers with increased building material costs.
The Homeowners Assistance Grant Program provides $350,362,000 in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan to assist with mortgage payments, principal reduction, interest rate reduction, utility and insurance costs.
The Mixed-Use Development Tax Credit was increased from $3 million per fiscal year to $4.5 million per fiscal year, beginning in fiscal year 2021-22.
The House and Senate are adjourned until September.
Local News Philadelphia Philadelphia concluded its final Council Session last week and will be recessed until September 16, 2021. PAA will use this time to meet with members, learn about priorities for next session, and continue its advocacy on behalf of our members.
Rental Screening Councilmember Brooks two bills known as the “Rental Access Act” has been approved by City Council, this bill would go into effect ~end of September/first week of October depending on how quickly the Mayor signs the legislation. PAA will be working with the bill sponsor over the summer on the regulations and implementation and will keep you updated on its development. An overview of the bill can be found here and the requirments from landlords based on the bill can be found here. *This bill would not prevent landlords from reviewing credit scores or eviction records (within the last four years), however it would prevent blanket denials solely on a credit score or solely on an eviction record. This bill would not prevent landlords from using line items within a credit score as a reason for denial.* Plastic Bag Ban Beginning July 1, 2021 Philadelphia will ban single use plastic bags. Though the ban will be implemented beginning July 1, there will be a nine-month awareness, education, and warning period before full enforcement begins in order to provide businesses time to prepare and comply with the law Learn more about the ban, here. Mixed Income Overlay Bill Councilmember Sánchez and Councilmember Gauthier introduced a mixed income neighborhoods overlay bill which aims to require affordable housing be part of new large development pprojects in select traacts of the 3rd and 7th districts. The members will hold a “Summer of Engagement” in July and August around the topics of housing affordability and development pressures. PAA will keep you updated on any events and developments on this legislation.
Emergency Rental Assistance is now live for tenants! Philadelphia’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program is live for both landlords and tenants to apply. We continue to urge landlords to create a login as well so when your tenants apply your information self-aggregates on their application which includes payment information to ensure the payments go directly to you the landlord! If you need any assistance with this program please click here or call 215-320-7880.
PAA in collaboration with HAPCO hosted an Emergency Rental Assistance Training which can be viewed here, along with a Powerpoint from the training. These links can also be found on the PAA website!
Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Rental Assistance Program information can be found here. COVID-19 Updates Bill No. 2021-1661 was introduced by Councilmember Wilson, which amends the temporary COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick which if passed will now expire when 90% of the State of Pennsylvania is fully vaccinated or the Federal National Emergency Declaration is lifted.
This legislation has not had a hearing scheduled but PAA Government Affairs team will continue to monitor this bill.
This summary has been provided by the PAA Government Affairs team. It is not an official legal opinion or legal advice. We would recommend seeking legal advice from an attorney. Please contact Andre Del Valle, Director of Government Affairs with questions or concerns at email@example.com or Leah Sailhamer, Vice President of Government Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.