Philly's latest round of rent relief funding falls short of need
Philadelphia has received the final influx of state and federal money the city requested for its emergency rental assistance program, according to a city email obtained by Axios.
- It's expected to last two weeks.
Why it matters: While the flow of money won't cover the need, it will help nearly 3,300 households whose applications to the city's cash-strapped rent relief program have already been approved.
State of play: The U.S. Treasury sent $8.3 million to Philly for its rent assistance program two weeks ago. Days later, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services distributed $9 million to the city.
Catch up fast: The city has provided more than $253 million in rental assistance to nearly 40,000 households since May 2020.
- Philadelphia requested a total of $485 million from the state and federal government last fall after the Treasury announced it wanted to reallocate billions in rent relief.
- In January, the city announced that it was shuttering its program due to low funds.
Details: The new funding will be directed to the backlog of applications from individuals who sought aid prior to the program closing in early January.
- Philly will give priority to applicants at risk of lockout and those participating in the city's eviction diversion program, the landlord-tenant mediation initiative that emerged in the pandemic as an alternative to court.
By the numbers: City staffers have completed reviewing about 70% of the more than 81,000 applications in the latest phase of the program.
- Of the roughly 56,000 reviewed this round, only about half have been approved, according to the city's dashboard, last updated Friday.
What's next: The city will disburse the funds until they're depleted, spokesperson Jamila Davis told Axios.
- After that, staff will still complete the review of all applications so that the city knows how many individuals are in need should it receive more funding in the future.
- Davis expects staff will complete the review of 9,000-10,000 applications in the final stages by mid-April.
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