Montco offers up to $1,500 a month for rent, utility assistance in COVID-19 pandemic

For rent sign.
Photo credit Feverpitched/Getty Images
By KYW Newsradio 1060
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Help is on the way to residents who are having trouble making rent or utility payments because of COVID-19. 

The CDC issued a nationwide ban on evictions through the end of the year, which helps Pennsylvania residents who are now at risk of losing their homes because the state's moratorium ended on Monday.

But the federal government is not offering any help to landlords whose tenants can’t make rent.

Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh says the county will use about $6 million of CARES Act funding to pay up to $1,500 a month for households "that are at or below 100% of the area median income, are experiencing hardship because of COVID-19 and have overdue rent payments or utility bills.”

She says each household could qualify for up to six months of assistance.

The payments will be made directly to landlords and utility companies.

Pennsylvania lawmakers passed legislation that offered $750 a month to landlords if they pledged not to evict tenants, but Arkoosh says there hasn’t been much buy-in in Montco, where rent is typically much higher.

“If the landlord agrees to take the $750 they have to write off the rest and as a consequence we’ve had very, very few landlords to participate in this program,” she said.

Starting on Tuesday, Sept. 8, residents who may qualify can reach out to Your Way Home Montgomery County or these other agencies that will help find people who are eligible for the help: