Pa. officials remind residents of family assistance services

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Acting Secretary of The Department of Human Services (DHS) Meg Snead, reminds residents of programs available to assist with essential needs as families begin to receive advanced Child Tax Credit payments.

“While these payments will be a reprieve when many are still struggling from the pandemic and economic crisis, they are not the only help available,” Snead said.

Households may be eligible for up to 18 months of assistance to cover past-due or future rent and utility payments through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). There is no income amount to determine eligibility for the program, however, average household income will determine the amount granted.

Through ERAP, assistance can be provided to a tenant for future rental payments, and for unpaid rental or utility arrears that were accrued on or after March 13, 2020, on a residential rental property. Counties may choose to provide additional assistance to eligible households if funds remain available.

Either tenants or landlords can apply for this assistance, but a tenant does not need a landlord’s permission to apply and use this assistance.

Applicants will need to provide the following information: head of household’s personal information; income information for all household members 18 and older; rental lease and amount owed; landlord’s name and contact information. If applying for utility assistance, applicants must provide utility expenses and utility provider information.

“We have endured nearly a year and a half of great loss and tremendous uncertainty. Circumstances are improving, but no one has to go at this alone. Please apply for assistance and let us help provide some security as we continue to navigate our recovery from COVID-19,” Snead continued.

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