Renters who were financially impacted by COVID-19 are now able to access applications for rent relief.

Applications opened June 29 and will be accepted until Sept. 30. They can be accessed at the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) website. The PHFA is partnering with the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.

The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in March and provided $3.9 billion for Pennsylvania. In late May, the General Assembly directed $175 million of CARES dollars to the PHFA to provide assistance for struggling renters and homeowners. The portion for rent assistance is at least $150 million.

In order to be eligible for assistance, renters need to document at least a 30% reduction in annual income since March 1 related to COVID-19 or must have been unemployed after March 1 with the same 30% income loss.

Household income cannot exceed the Area Median Income for their county of residence, which is adjusted for the number of people in their home.

Renters that qualify may receive assistance equal to 100% of their monthly rent up to $750 a month for a maximum of six months between March 1 and Dec. 30. Payments will be made to their landlord on their behalf.

Renters or landlords can apply for rent relief for tenants, but a complete application includes documents that must be completed by both the landlord and the renter.

For homeowners impacted by COVID-19, details are available on the PHFA’s website.

The phone number for the PHFA call center is 1-855-827-3466.