- State Data Overview
Across Pennsylvania, there is a shortage of rental homes affordable and available to extremely low income households (ELI), whose incomes are at or below the poverty guideline or 30% of their area median income (AMI). Many of these households are severely cost burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing. Severely cost burdened poor households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice other necessities like healthy food and healthcare to pay the rent, and to experience unstable housing situations like evictions.KeyFacts429,829Or27%Renter households that are extremely low income$25,750Maximum income for 4-person extremely low income household (state level)-261,060Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters$41,494Annual household income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home at HUD's Fair Market Rent.68%Percent of extremely low income renter households with severe cost burden
- State Level Partners
Become an NLIHC State Partner
NLIHC’s affiliation with our state coalition partners is central to our advocacy efforts. Although our partners' involvement varies, they are all housing and homeless advocacy organizations engaged at the state and federal level. Many are traditional coalitions with a range of members; others are local organizations that serve more informally as NLIHC's point of contact.
Inquire about becoming a state partner by contacting [email protected]
- Housing Trust FundHTF Implementation Information
NLIHC continues working with leaders in each state and the District of Columbia who will mobilize advocates in support of HTF allocation plans that benefit ELI renters to the greatest extent possible. Please contact the point person coordinating with NLIHC in your state (below) to find out about the public participation process and how you can be involved. Email Tori Bourret with any questions.Current Year HTF Allocation
$6,879,626HTF State Resources
2019 Draft PHARE Plan (PDF)
2019 Final PHARE Plan (PDF)
PHARE RFP (PDF)
PHARE FAQs (PDF)
2018 PHARE RFP (PDF)
2018 PHARE Plan (PDF)
PHARE Fund Reservations (PDF)
PHARE project summaries (PDF)
2017 PHARE RFP (PDF)
Draft HTF Allocation Plan, starting on page 183 of draft Annual Action Plan (PDF)
2016 RFP (PDF)State Designated Entity:
Executive Director & CEO
Pennsylvania Housing Fiance Agency
Manager of Multifamily Coordination
State Entity Webpage
NHTF-specific page11 MB
State Housing Profile
Congressional District Housing Profile
Research and Data
National Housing Preservation Database
The National Housing Preservation Database is an address-level inventory of federally assisted rental housing in the United States.
Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing
The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes
- Take Action
- COVID-19 ResourcesCOVID-19 Resources
In response to COVID-19 and its economic fallout, many cities and states are creating or expanding rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by the pandemic, and NLIHC is tracking in-depth information on these programs.
You can use the interactive map and searchable database to find state and local emergency rental assistance programs near you. You can also see the latest news on rental assistance programs through the state-by-state news tracker. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all rental assistance programs as we continue to update frequently. If you are aware of a program not included in our database, please contact [email protected].
Across the country, homeless service providers are struggling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to follow public health guidelines and help ensure people’s safety, some shelters are being forced to reduce services, restrict admittance, or close entirely. The loss of these critical resources puts people experiencing homelessness at even higher risk of illness. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of shelter closings.
Below is a list of shelters that have had to majorly alter services or completely close:
In Dauphin County, Christian Churches United closed its emergency winter shelter early and will close its women’s shelter on Friday.
Shelters in the Lehigh Valley are closed to newcomers.
The Lancaster Housing and Redevelopment Authorities (LCHRA), which lead the distribution of emergency rental assistance (ERA) funds in the county, are holding multiple events to help tenants apply for rental assistance funds. These events focus on breaking down communication and technological barriers that prevent families from applying to the program. Nearly 260 households attended LCHRA’s first Rental and Utilities Assistance Community Day in July.
Updated on September 21, 2021
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Philadelphia has received more than 45,000 rental assistance applications as of August 6, which is more than twice the maximum number of renters the city expects to be able to help with this round of funding. About 9,100 households have received funds, and an additional 1,000-plus have been approved. More than 20,000 applications are pending review.
Effective August 14, Philadelphia landlords are prohibited from locking tenants out of their homes if their pending rental assistance applications have been marked “complete.” According to the city, more than 25,000 applications are marked as completed, and more than 37% of applications are marked incomplete, which requires applicants to resubmit documents.
Updated on August 30, 2021
CityLab highlights Philadelphia’s eviction diversion program, which has already averted hundreds of evictions and plans to circumvent thousands more. Since the program launched in September, landlords and tenants have had more than 2,300 sessions with mediators or counselors. The program has resulted in more than 1,500 successful mediations to date, with 90% concluding with payment arrangements or other positive resolutions.
Updated July 26, 2021
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services recently notified the state judiciary about the various federal and state grants available to individuals who need rental assistance to remain in their homes. “I am writing to you today to respectfully seek the judicial branch’s assistance to help educate both landlords and tenants about emergency rental assistance programs as we look to move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote Acting Human Services Secretary Meg Snead in a letter to the court administrator of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
Updated on July 22, 2021
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the largest landlord association in Philadelphia is partnering with a housing and social services nonprofit to connect tenants with emergency rental assistance and prevent evictions. Hapco Philadelphia landlords will refer tenants who are struggling with rent payments to the Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network before filing for eviction.
Go Erie reminds struggling tenants and landlords that help is still available through Pennsylvania’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. According to the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, 467,000 Pennsylvanians say they will be unable to make their next rent payment. “This is our opportunity to invest in our long-term economic recovery, rally around each other, and help prevent a wave of evictions and homelessness that will create yet another public health crisis that could persist beyond this crisis,” said Meg Snead, acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, in a statement.
June 22, 2021
Philadelphia Municipal Court President Judge Patrick Dugan on May 13 extended the city’s ban on evictions and lockouts through June 30. The moratorium had been set to expire on May 17.
Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse extended the eviction moratorium for an additional 30 days. This fifth extension continues to ban the eviction, ejectment, or displacement of tenants, and prohibits water shut-offs in the city for delinquency, non-payment, or violation of any payment plan.
Pennsylvania will receive its first funding disbursement of Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funded through the American Rescue Plan, and the Pennsylvania General Assembly will need to pass legislation to ensure these resources reach tenants and landlords as quickly as possible. The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania is encouraging residents to call their legislators and urge them to improve the PA Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program (ERAP) to make it as effective as possible. The Alliance put together an ERAP comparison chart with recommendations on how to improve the program.
June 4, 2021
The Pittsburgh City Council scaled back components of the city’s eviction moratorium. The city council voted on April 6 to amend the city’s eviction moratorium to more clearly define who can be evicted and reduce the fines for landlords who violate the law. The amendments no longer require landlords to renew leases for tenants who miss rent payments during the pandemic.
April 17, 2021
A local tenant advocacy group, the Pittsburgh Union of Regional Renters, is accusing Mayor Bill Peduto and other officials of not enforcing the city’s eviction moratorium. At the same time, local landlord groups are declaring the city's eviction moratorium unconstitutional and filing lawsuits to have the ban overturned.
Philadelphia landlords can pre-register for Phase 4 of the PHLRentAssistProgram. Pre-registering will speed up the process once the program starts accepting applications. Philadelphia received approximately $97 million for emergency rental and utility assistance.
WESA investigates eviction actions taken by The Alden – a complex run by Philadelphia-based multi-state landlord Aion Management and Allegheny County’s eviction hotspot. While the suburban complex makes up .5% of the county’s rental units, The Alden accounts for nearly 4% of the pandemic-era eviction cases in Allegheny County.
March 31, 2021
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that advocates are urging Philadelphia officials to use FEMA funding to provide hotel rooms for individuals who are homeless. Despite the Biden administration’s decision to provide 100% reimbursement for non-congregate sheltering, Philadelphia officials do not plan on using FEMA funds to house individuals who are homeless in hotels. Advocates report that conditions at some of the city’s shelters are dangerous and continue to urge city officials to reopen COVID hotels and expand the program to meet all the demonstrated needs.
Pittsburgh City Council Members announced they are committed to enacting a citywide eviction moratorium when they meet next week. Until then, they will work with other city officials and Mayor Bill Peduto’s administration to craft a law that temporarily protects people facing eviction. Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are partnering with Action Housing and Dollar Energy on a $27 million rental assistance program.
March 01, 2021
Hundreds of tenants in western Pennsylvania have been evicted in the last several months, despite the federal eviction moratorium, and thousands more are facing eviction. In Allegheny County, 1,138 eviction cases have been filed since November 1. Judges ruled in favor of evicting tenants in 213 of those cases, and tenants were forced out of their homes in 135 cases.
Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse announced on February 16 that he would extend the city’s ban on evictions for another 30 days into mid-March. The original order was adopted after city officials found that hundreds of people would face eviction at the start of 2021. The city is also distributing $500,000 in Emergency Solutions Grants – CARES (ESG-CV) funds to tenants. Local landlords have reported that Harrisburg’s rental relief has been very helpful for themselves and their tenants.
February 22, 2021
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that landlords are more than twice as likely to file for evictions against Black renters in Philadelphia than against white renters. Based on the pre-pandemic trend, Black renters are more likely to be evicted when pandemic eviction moratoriums are lifted.
Governor Wolf on February 5 signed Senate Bill 109, legislation directing the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to administer the new Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance program. Many of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania’s recommendations were part of the legislation.
The Pitt News Editorial Board writes about the need for Pennsylvania to provide equitable rent relief.
February 17, 2021
Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse issued an executive order to ban all evictions and fine landlords up to $10,000 who attempt to evict tenants. Mayor Papenfuse puts these additional protections in place to address loopholes in the CDC eviction moratorium.
February 08, 2021
Pennsylvania Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation to address the COVID-19 housing crisis. The legislation includes extending the eviction and foreclosure moratorium, waiving late fees for tenants affected by COVID-19, and providing homelessness resources.
Lebanon County residents in need of rental assistance can submit a preliminary application for the county’s COVID-19 emergency rental assistance fund.
February 01, 2021
According to the Berks Coalition to End Homelessness, which received about $750,000 in federal money for homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing, estimates the need for aid in 2020 was five times greater than in 2019.
January 25, 2021
The Public Source discusses the long-term, harmful impacts of eviction beyond displacement. The pandemic has created additional barriers to renters searching for housing with an eviction record. Democratic legislators in Harrisburg have proposed legislation to expunge or seal eviction records to address the collateral consequences of evictions.
November 30, 2020
The Philadelphia Municipal Court on November 6 issued an order halting most evictions through the end of 2020. The court order came after weeks of negotiations over a package of bills that would have offered the same tenant protections.
The Housing Initiative at Penn (HIP) released a research brief, “COVID-19 and Rent Relief: Understanding the Landlord Side,” based on a survey of over 600 property owners in Philadelphia whose tenants applied for state or local COVID-19 rental assistance (see NLIHC Memo, 11/9).
WHYY reports that hundreds of thousands of Philadelphia households face utility shutoffs as unemployment rates soars and coronavirus infections surge. A PECO spokesperson stated there were more than 325,000 customers with outstanding balance as of November 11.
November 17, 2020
Spotlight PA reports loopholes in the CDC eviction moratorium and vague guidance have resulted in evictions and homelessness despite the federal ban. A Spotlight PA investigation found an inconsistent system of justice across the state, meaning decisions interpreting the vague federal moratorium vary from town to town.
November 10, 2020
The Philadelphia City Council on October 21 failed to advance a bill that would ban all evictions through the end of the year. The court-imposed citywide moratorium on lockouts expires on November 8, and an estimated 2,000 Philadelphia households are at risk of eviction for cases that started before the pandemic.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports thousands of Philadelphia renters could lose their homes in two weeks unless the City Council reinstates an eviction moratorium. Legislation that would reinstate a moratorium failed to advance last week due to disagreements about whether the bill should apply to all renters or only those with a COVID-19-related hardship.
November 4, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf announced on October 13 the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency is improving the COVID Relief Mortgage and Rental Assistance Grant Program to help more renters and homeowners remain in their homes. Effective October 17, landlords and mortgagees will have a new option to reach agreements with renters and homeowners for repayment above the program’s $750 monthly cap. The program previously required them to forgive the balance of the payment.
October 19, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf issued an emergency order extending the deadline for the COVID Relief - Mortgage and Rental Assistance Grant Program until November 4. The application deadline was originally scheduled for September 30.
Generocity reports the CARES Rent Relief Program administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency has such a “cumbersome” process that in August, almost 17,000 tenants applied for $32 million in assistance but only 1,800 tenants were approved for a total of $3.3 million.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives canceled its voting session after a Republican lawmaker tested positive for the coronavirus, delaying a critical vote to extend and improve the state’s $150 million rent relief program. Lawmakers have known about the problems with the rent relief program for months, but Republican leadership did not schedule a vote before October.
October 14, 2020
Pennsylvania Real-Time News reports that the Greater Harrisburg Area Tenants United distributed information to tenants facing eviction at the Magisterial District Court 12-1-01 in Susquehanna Township on September 30. The advocates are working to ensure tenants understand their rights under the CDC eviction moratorium and take the necessary steps to receive protection.
October 5, 2020
Chester County Commissioners approved $1.8 million in CARES Act funding to provide rental assistance and additional services for households impacted by the pandemic. “Previous programs have provided up to $750 in rental assistance, but that’s simply not enough to cover the cost of housing in Chester County,” said County Commissioner Marian Moskowitz.
September 29, 2020
An op-ed in the Ambler Gazette calls on Congress and the White House to enact a robust COVID-19 relief bill that includes $100 billion in rental assistance.
September 22, 2020
The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board urges Philadelphia’s courts and state lawmakers to take critical steps to prevent the impending eviction avalanche. The authors urge city officials to translate materials about the CDC moratorium to multiple languages, actively promote Philadelphia’s Eviction Diversion Program, and provide rent relief.
Governor Tom Wolf is calling on the General Assembly to improve the CARES Rent Relief Program, provide an additional $100 million in CARES funding, enact an eviction and foreclosure moratorium until the end of the year, and other legislation to help renters and homeowners.
“The eviction moratorium is important, but it’s temporary,” says Phyllis Chamberlain, executive director of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania. “Rental assistance is a longer-term solution that actually addresses the root problem.”
September 15, 2020
The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board writes that although the CDC’s eviction moratorium provides critical relief, state legislators and local courts cannot assume that the eviction crisis has been averted. The success of the moratorium will depend on outreach to educate tenants, landlords, and local landlord-tenants judges that enforce the order. Moreover, rental assistance is needed to prevent mass evictions instead of delaying the crisis.
Before the federal eviction moratorium was enacted, advocates warned that thousands of people would be at risk of eviction in Chester County when Pennsylvania’s eviction moratorium expired on August 31. The Housing Authority of Chester County is concerned about the operational rules and requirements of the state’s Rent Relief Program, which have resulted in sporadic, slow, and often inadequate assistance.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Pennsylvania residents are bracing for the statewide eviction moratorium to end August 31. About 1,500 evictions are typically scheduled each month in Philadelphia, but a lawyer at Community Legal Services anticipates “seeing an order of magnitude many times that next month.”
September 10, 2020
Up to 500,000 households across Pennsylvania could be evicted once the statewide moratorium ends September 1. Governor Tom Wolf said he does not have the power to extend the eviction moratorium, meaning the Republican-controlled legislature would have to extend it.
The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board urged Pennsylvania’s legislature to extend the eviction moratorium, set to expire August 31, and provide emergency rental assistance to support landlords and keep tenants stably housed.
September 2, 2020
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, about 17% of Pennsylvania renters missed their payment in June, and a quarter had little or no confidence that they could pay rent in July. An op-ed in the Post-Gazette discusses the connection between the current COVID-19 housing crisis and systemic housing issues. The authors urge Congress to fund local housing work adequately and consistently, even after the immediate COVID-19 crisis has subsided.
A letter to the editor in the Sentinel outlines the urgent need for $100 billion in rental assistance and a nationwide eviction moratorium.
August 19, 2020
The Philadelphia Inquirer investigates how, by outsourcing critical stages of the eviction process to a private entity with little transparency, Philadelphia’s eviction system leaves some tenants blindsided.
August 4, 2020
An op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer discussed the urgent need for Congress to extend the eviction moratorium through at least December and offer assistance that meets the immense housing needs of all people across Pennsylvania.
July 28, 2020
Pennsylvania Real-Time News highlights findings from NLIHC’s Out of Reach 2020 report and mentions advocates’ concerns that the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic downturn has exacerbated the housing crisis.
July 20, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf signed on July 9 a new executive order that extends the eviction and foreclosure moratorium until August 31, 2020. The moratorium protects households that are not protected under other federal eviction programs or families that are not receiving assistance from a new program administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.
Governor Tom Wolf extended the eviction and foreclosure moratorium on July 9 after facing growing pressure from advocates, residents, and state legislators. Pennsylvania is allocating $175 million of its federal coronavirus relief funds to provide rental and mortgage assistance. However, the rental assistance funds have not been distributed yet and the $750 per month maximum on payments will be insufficient to cover the full rental amount for many households.
The Philadelphia Inquirer released an article detailing the eligibility requirements and application process for the state’s emergency mortgage and rent assistance program.
July 13, 2020
Tenants, housing advocates, and local officials in Berks County are concerned about a potential surge in evictions as Pennsylvania’s eviction moratorium is set to expire on July 10. The pandemic has exacerbated Berks County’s high eviction rates, which averaged about 4,000 a year before COVID-19.
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) opened applications for the new rental and mortgage assistance program on June 29. The $150 million rent relief program is funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF).
July 7, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation on May 29, allocating $175 million in Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars for a COVID Relief Mortgage and Rental Assistance Program and an additional $10 million for Homeless Assistance Grants.
June 12, 2020
Pennsylvania released new guidance for people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic, including a temporary suspension on evictions and foreclosures. The Department of Human Services is establishing a Sheltering Taskforce to provide services to people who are unable to self-isolate. Rental assistance is available through the Housing Assistance Program, and the Department of Community and Economic Development plans to issue multiple Emergency Solution Grants.
The Community Action Agency of Delaware County will receive $300,000 to help people who have recently become homelessness find shelter in hotels for up to three months. These individuals may include patients released from medical facilities, people recently released from jail or prisons, survivors of domestic violence, or people living in homeless shelters who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Montgomery County Commissioner Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr. announced that $30,000 is needed to provide shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness through mid-May. The county is seeking donations to meet this need.
Kensington Avenue in Philadelphia has high rates of people experiencing homelessness as well as multiple other social needs. Community leaders are now struggling with how to provide support during the COVID-19 crisis, including searching for a location to house a 24-hour respite center, feeding sites and increased testing.
The Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development, and the Homeless approved five of the six bills included in the Emergency Housing Protection Act (EHPA). The EHPA will be up for a full vote in City Council by June 18.
June 12, 2020
City officials moved approximately 50 individuals experiencing homelessness from the Philadelphia International Airport on May 26, offering to test any individuals who requested to be transported to a shelter.
Protesters staged a funeral procession on May 31 outside the home of the director of the Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services to urge the city to take action to protect people living with disabilities and people experiencing homelessness from COVID-19. The protest was organized by the Philadelphia chapters of Disabled in Action/ADAPT and ACT UP.
Philadelphia established a COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which aims to provide rental assistance to 3,000 families in the city. The program will be funded by $10 million of federal relief funding.
An op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer examines why the city should create a jails-to-housing pipeline. The authors argue that a housing-first approach to COVID-19 would ensure that everyone who wants and needs housing would have access to it.
Families experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia are struggling to find shelter even as hotel rooms in the city’s quarantine sites remain vacant. City officials reported that roughly two-thirds of the 150 rooms in the city-leased Holiday Inn were vacant last week. However, the facility does not admit families and only individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting test results are eligible to stay there.
LGBTQ organizations in Pittsburgh have experienced a surge in need due to COVID-19 and the economic fallout. A board member of Proud Haven, an LGBTQ nonprofit organization in Pittsburgh, said that the number of LGBTQ youth needing emergency shelter has doubled during the pandemic.
June 22, 2020
Article Title Link
Letter: Keeping people in their homes should be a priority
Federal, state, and local eviction moratoriums are rapidly expiring and the CARES Act supplemental unemployment benefits will end soon; at that time, millions of low-income renters will be at risk of losing their homes. The NLIHC estimates at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed to keep low-income renters stably housed during and after the pandemic. This tracker links to news reports of the growing evictions crisis in various cities and states. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of eviction updates.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, about 17% of Pennsylvania renters missed their payment in June, and a quarter had little or no confidence that they could pay rent in July. An op-ed in the Post-Gazette discusses the connection between the current COVID-19 housing crisis and systemic housing issues. The authors urge Congress to fund local housing work adequately and consistently - even after the immediate COVID-19 crisis has subsided.
August 28, 2020
Governor's executive order prevents filing for eviction due to nonpayment of rent and overstayed lease until August 31. Executive order only applies to evictions in these two scenarios.
August 1, 2020
In the third week of July, 1 in 5 adults in Pennsylvania reported they had missed their previous housing payment or had little confidence they would make their next one on time, according to a weekly survey conducted by the Census. In the same survey, 394,482 renters reported they had not paid their previous rental payment.
July 29, 2020
13,000 households applied for assistance, but the state’s $10M fund could only serve 4,000 households. According to a weekly survey by the Census, nearly 1 in 5 adults in the state either missed their last housing payment or have little/no confidence of being able to make next month’s housing payment.
Philadelphia One in 5 renters in Philadelphia doubt they can make July’s rent. June 26
July 16, 2020COVID-19 Resources Other
What to Know About Housing and Rent During the COVID-19 Emergency? https://tinyurl.com/y74ox85d
Arbor Realty Trust launched an innovative $2 million rental assistance program to help thousands of tenants and families significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Arbor is contributing $1 million to the program and participating borrowers will match Arbor's advances to its tenants in need to help fill the rent gap during the hard-hit months of May and June. Together, the partnership program will provide $2 million in relief. https://tinyurl.com/y9r6x9vb