City of Philadelphia Launches COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The City of Philadelphia is launching a COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program. It aims to help people who have lost income because of COVID-19 pay their rent. 

Funding is limited. Not every applicant will receive rent assistance. All selected tenants will receive assistance for up to three consecutive months for up to $2,500 total, with the rent being paid directly to the tenant's landlord. If funding permits the program will try to provide ongoing assistance for up to a year for renters who still need help after three months.

Each tenant's situation will be re-evaluated every three months. Depending their situation, a tenant may receive emergency rental assistance for three months, six months, nine months or one year. Assistance is limited to $2,500 per three-month period.

To be eligible:

  • You must rent an apartment or house in Philadelphia
  • You must have a valid and current written lease signed by your landlord
  • You must have lost income because of COVID-19

You do NOT have to have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to be eligible.

You must also meet these income guidelines, as applied to your income before the COVID-19-related loss:

Maximum Monthly
Household Income
Maximum Annual
Household Income
1 $2,821 $33,850
2 $3,221 $38,650
3 $3,625 $43,500
4 $4,025 $48,300
5 $4,350 $52,200
6 $4,671 $56,050
7 $4,992 $59,900
8 $5,317 $63,800
For households larger than 8 add for each member $321 $3,850


An applicant is NOT eligible if:

  • You live in public housing
  • You receive other government rental assistance (Section 8, Housing Choice Vouchers, etc.)
  • You have unpaid rent from before April
  • You are in the process of being evicted

Additionally, the landlord must also agree to:

  • Accept the rental payment (the first three months of assistance will be May, June and July 2020)
  • Not pursue eviction for non-payment while receiving rental assistance from the City and for six months after the final City payment
  • Waive any late fees or penalties for rent not paid in April and May
  • Provide six months after the final payment from the City to repay any missed rent from April and from the period while the City was paying rental assistance

You can apply for the program beginning Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 10:00 AM. The deadline to apply is Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 5:00 PM.

Additional information on applying for the assistance is available at 


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