Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro penned a letter to landlords throughout Pennsylvania Tuesday asking they work with tenants during the coronavirus pandemic that financially gripped the nation, Your Content has learned.
“All across our Commonwealth, Pennsylvanians are doing their part to battle the COVID-19 pandemic by staying home, staying apart, and preventing the spread of this disease. The economic consequences of this emergency are significant, and have put too many Pennsylvanians at risk of not being able to make timely rent payments to protect their most important asset right now: their homes,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro wrote.
“The Office of Attorney General and the Pennsylvania Apartment Association are focused on the health, safety and well-being of Pennsylvanians.”
The letter asks tenants not begin any new eviction proceedings based on non-payment of rent until at least July 15; extend grace periods for late payments and waive late fees for residents that have provided documentation of financial hardship or loss of employment related to the COVID-19 crisis; Create payment plans for residents, including those who had previously outstanding eviction balances and put the plan in writing; and help residents identify and access resources available to them through government and community programs.
The letter goes on to read: “But we recognize that over one and half million Pennsylvanians have lost jobs and lost wages during this crisis. Businesses will need time to reopen, unemployment compensation and federal paycheck support will take time to reach those in need, and our economy will come back slowly as regions of our Commonwealth go through phased reopenings. Stable housing is part of the public health and economic foundation we need as a Commonwealth to fully recover. While the salary of some residents continues to be paid in full by their employers, other residents have found their income cut dramatically and, in some cases, lost their income entirely.”