Released: February 14, 2023
The Delaware County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (Delco ERA) has expended 100% of its allocation of $82,918,830 in emergency rental assistance funds, having awarded a total of 12,889 grants to low-income renters who experienced housing instability during COVID-19 pandemic. The Delco ERA program helped keep many Delaware County residents in their homes and prevented large-scale homelessness during the global pandemic.
Delco ERA launched in March 2021 with a mission to help low-income Delaware County residents avoid eviction and housing instability as communities weathered the impact of COVID-19. The U.S. Treasury and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania awarded Delco ERA $50,711,553 in ERA 1 funds from the CARES Act of 2020 and an additional $32,207,277 in ERA 2 funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
By October 2021, Delco ERA had expended 100% of its first allocation of $37.27 million in ERA 1 funds—when the national average expenditure rate was just 45%. Delco ERA received an additional $15,259,080 in re-allocated ERA 1 and ERA 2 funds. The high performance of the team directly led to over $15M in additional funds being awarded to Delaware County renters and landlords.
In April 2022, Delaware County received the prestigious Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence, in recognition of the County’s successful Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Delaware County Council, the Delaware County Department of Human Services, the County Solicitor’s Officer, Capital Access, numerous staff members from many State and County agencies, as well as many community partners—including the Multicultural Community Family Services, the Delaware County Foundation, Media Fellowship House, Legal Aid of Southeastern PA, the Chester Housing Authority and Chester City Hall—have all played a significant role in making the Delco ERA program a success.
In November 2022, U.S. Treasury selected Delaware County as one of four out of the 67 counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to receive an additional $3.99 million in re-allocated ERA 1 funds to help renters avoid eviction before the holidays. With the newly awarded funding and a tight deadline, the Delco ERA team was able to work quickly and assist 700 renters who were facing eviction during the holiday season.
A summary of Delco ERA production and impact:
Delco ERA processed 12,889 grants as of December 29, 2022
The average grant was $5,755 for 9.76 months of rent and utility assistance
2,656 grants have helped households avoid a court-ordered eviction
Average annual household income for those receiving grants was $23,155
7,012 of all grants (54.4%) benefitted households earning 30% or less of Area Median Income (AMI)
11,268 of all grants (86.4%) benefitted households earning 50% or less of AMI
7,095 grants helped households with children remain in their homes
“Delco ERA represents an extraordinary partnership among Delaware County Government and various partners,” said Delaware County Council Chair Dr. Monica Taylor. “We were able to help thousands of Delaware County residents in need thanks to the dedicated and persistent collaboration of community partners, Utility Companies, landlords and tenants, along with our program manager, Capital Access.”
The U.S. Treasury and Commonwealth of PA may still award Delco ERA with additional rent and utility assistance as the federal and state programs wind down. The County will determine the optimal approach to make such assistance available based on when and how much may be available. Please visit www.DelcoHomelessServices.org for details if you or someone you know is facing housing instability.