Eviction protections that were in place will end in Allegheny County courts after Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected claim of the presiding judge of the county to continue the measures.
Allegheny County President Judge Kim Berkeley Clark last week asked the state Supreme Court to extend protections for an additional month. His order had not stopped all evictions, but had given late tenants more time to apply for and receive housing assistance by pursuing cases where there was a reasonable probability that tenants would be approved for assistance. The state’s Supreme Court dismissed his request on Monday.
Last week, a number of local progressive groups and elected officials called for extended protections.
In her court application, Justice Clark cited “high” cases of COVID-19 ongoing in Allegheny County and the county’s continued efforts to distribute more than $ 80 million in federal rent assistance. Over 19,000 households in Allegheny County have applied for the program; about 38 percent received payment. The program is still open and applications are still being accepted.
Andre Del Valle, director of government affairs for the Pennsylvania Apartment Association, said his organization is encouraging homeowners to seek help.
“We encouraged landlords to keep messaging and let it be known that there is all this emergency rent assistance money that is really of benefit to landlords and tenants,” he said. .
District Judge Richard King, who hears landlord-tenant cases in many southern Pittsburgh neighborhoods, said he believed district judges would still give extensions to homeowners and tenants who had applied for aid in rent.
“We are all very familiar with the program and it is working,” he said on Monday.
To apply for rental and / or utility assistance if you live in Allegheny County, visit https://covidrentrelief.alleghenycounty.us/ or call ACTION-Housing at 412-248-0021.
If you live outside of Allegheny County, go to https://www.compass.state.pa.us/