The City of Philadelphia Launches COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Written by: Natalie Klyashtorny

Beginning today, the City of Philadelphia is launching the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (“ERAP”) to assist some tenants who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic make their rental payments.  

The City will begin accepting applications under ERAP at 10:00 a.m. today and through Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. 

Tenants approved under ERAP will initially receive rental assistance from the City for up to 3 consecutive months for up to a total of $2,500. 

Subsequent to the first 3-month period of time, the tenant’s situation will be reevaluated by the City every 3 months thereafter and, depending on the tenant’s situation and the City’s funding, the tenant may receive additional assistance under ERAP for 3, 6, or 9 months.

Payments under ERAP will be made directly to the landlord. 

To be eligible for this governmental program, a tenant must rent an apartment unit or house in Philadelphia pursuant to a current written lease signed by a landlord and the tenant must have suffered a loss in income due to Covid-19. 

Under ERAP, the tenant also must meet certain maximum pre-pandemic income guidelines, i.e., a single individual can have no greater than a maximum annual household income of $33,850 and a family of 4 can have no greater than a maximum annual household income of $48,300.   

Tenants who live in public housing, receive other forms of governmental rental assistance, have unpaid rent from before April, or are in the process of being evicted will not be eligible for assistance under ERAP. 

Under ERAP, the applicant must submit a copy of the lease and proof of income loss for all adult members of the household. 

Additionally, the applicant’s landlord must have a rental license and be current on taxes owed to the City.  If necessary, the landlord will be given a week to remedy any such issues with the City. 

The landlord must also agree to accept the rental payment from the City under ERAP, not pursue eviction for non-payment of rent while receiving such payments and for 6 months after the final payment from the City, waive any late fees or penalties for rent not paid in April and May, and allow the tenant 6 months after the final payment from the City to repay any missed rental payments from April and for the period while the City was paying rental assistance.

If you have a question about ERAP, please feel free to contact us at and an attorney at Nochumson P.C. will immediately reach out to you to schedule a free consultation.