Delaware County Emergency Rental Assistance Program Moves into May with Momentum

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Released: April 30, 2021

Over $37 million is available to residents to assist with rent and utility bills

The U.S. Treasury and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided Delaware County with a combined $37 million in Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds to assist residents with past due rent and utility bills. Delaware County engaged Capital Access Inc., a grants management consulting firm based in the Delaware Valley to serve as program manager for DELCO ERA.

The DELCO ERA Program has funded 50 rent and utility assistance grants and sent payments to landlords and utility providers on behalf of their tenants. The program has received over 2,000 registrations in the first month since launching the DELCO ERA Program.

The County is building its list of applicants and their landlords to reach the goal to fully expend the $37 million in ERA funds in 2021. Funding remains available to assist renters who have suffered disruption and/or loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Unfortunately, many of our residents have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have fallen behind on rent and utility bills,” said Delaware County Councilman Kevin Madden. “DELCO ERA reflects our core value that government can help residents in need with respect, kindness, and efficiency and we encourage those who need assistance to apply.”

Tenants and Landlords are encouraged to register with the DELCO ERA Program at: www.delco-era.com


Updates to the DELCO ERA Program:

  1. The program is fully operational executing grant agreements and making grant payments to landlords and utility companies.
  2. The program has over 2,000 applicants, with a goal of 6,000.
  3. The Landlord Participation Campaign was launched to educate landlords about the value and efficiency of participating in DELCO ERA to expedite processing and payments.

    The U. S. Treasury and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania made substantial improvements to the program. DELCO ERA can now pay up to 12 months of past-due rent and up to 3 months of future rent due in an expedited manner for eligible applicants.

    To avoid delays and protect privacy, all checks for landlords will be paid through the Deluxe eChecks system, where landlords can print their checks for payment. Landlords without email addresses will receive checks in the mail.
  4. In-Person Application Intake Sessions are held every Saturday to serve tenants and landlords without internet access at The County’s Upper Darby Office (20 South 69th Street, Upper Darby) on the fourth floor. Sessions are by appointment only. Call: (484) 729-4200 or Email: info@delco-era.com to schedule an appointment.

    The program has safely served over 100 applicants and landlords in-person who needed internet access and/or assistance with registration, the full application, and assistance uploading documents. In-person application sessions will be held on Saturdays through May.
  5. DELCO ERA launched the Community Partner Program where community service organizations are engaged and trained to:
    1. Assist with Marketing and Outreach to encourage renters to apply.
    2. Conduct In-Person Application In-Take for applicants who do not have an email address, access to a scanner, internet, and/or need help completing the application and uploading verification documents.
    3. Serve as a facilitator and advocate for those with special needs or those who need assistance.
    The full list of Community Partners can be found here: www.delco-era.com
  6. As of May 1st, DELCO ERA will process the payment of all past-due utility charges for qualifying tenant applicants. Previously, the program allowed for only the largest past-due utility bill.

    Applicants must provide the most recent statement for each utility that explicitly states the name, address, and account number for the utility. Applicants who applied before May 1 may submit requests for additional utility account past due charges with their case managers.
  7. The DELCO ERA Customer Service is responding to an average of 750 calls and emails a day. The goal is to have email and voicemail messages returned within 24 hours.

    Applicants and landlords who need assistance or want to schedule an In-Person Application Intake Session can call (484) 729-4200 or email info@delco-era.com

"We will continue to provide the in-person application intake service every Saturday through the end of May as it has proven to be an effective strategy to bridge the Digital Divide,” said Jeremey Newberg, CEO of Capital Access, Inc.

“Our goal is to assist people in need in a respectful and efficient manner." “The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to so many people. Many residents need help and there is no shame and no judgment to ask for help. There is money to assist residents and they are urged to apply,” said Chaurice Capps, In-Person Application Intake Specialist for the DELCO ERA Program.


How the program works:

DELCO ERA will pay for past due rent and utilities, and up to three months of future eligible housing/utility expenses totaling up to 15 months of assistance for qualifying applicants. Past due rent can go as far back as April 1, 2020. DELCO ERA does not pay for deposits or late fees.

No more than one application per household.

Grant funds are paid directly to the landlord/property manager and the utility company.

Funds will be distributed on a “first-come, first qualified and approved” basis until program funds are depleted.

Applicants must provide evidence of disruption and/or loss due to the COVID pandemic such as:

- Qualified for unemployment benefits during the pandemic or can attest in writing that they, or a member of their household, has experienced a reduction of income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the pandemic; and

- Can demonstrate a risk of housing instability and/or homelessness such as a past due utility, past-due rent notice, or eviction notice.

Eligible applicants must earn 80% or less of the area median income (AMI) for their household size.

Applicants get the highest priority for processing if the total household income is less than 50% AMI and/or households with at least one person unemployed for at least 90 days prior to the date of their full application and/or currently undergoing eviction proceedings that commenced prior to January 1st, 2021.


HUD INCOME LIMITS 2020 DELAWARE COUNTY
Household Size 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Very Low Income (50%) $33,850 $38,650 $43,500 $48,300 $52,200 $56,050 $59,900 $63,800
Low Income (80% ) $54,150 $61,850 $69,600 $77,300 $83,500 $89,700 $95,900 $102,050

“90% of tenants applying for DELCO ERA earn very low incomes and about 20% are facing some stage of eviction for non-payment of rent. We need to process DELCO ERA grant applications with a sense of urgency, and we are doing just that,” said Delaware County Director of Human Services Director Sandy Garrison. “We appreciate the cooperation of landlords registering in our system and providing the required supporting documents. It helps us expedite processing and payments.”

Residents are encouraged to apply early as funds are limited. Application Specialists are available to assist. People with language and/or physical challenges can request assistance with application submission.

Residents can email or call for assistance:

Email: info@delco-era.com Call: (484) 729-4200



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Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.


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