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McKeesport, July 29, 2021 – With the federal eviction moratorium expiring at the end of the week, state Sen. Jim Brewster is urging local renters and landlords whose income was affected by the pandemic to immediately file for federal funds made available through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and intended to help with both rent and utilities.

“Congress put this money into the federal relief package to make sure people don’t lose their homes or their utilities due to the pandemic,” Brewster said. “But thousands of eligible Pennsylvanians still haven’t applied, and much of the relief money remains unused. I hope people will get the word out to friends and neighbors before it’s too late.”

In June, the Biden Administration announced it was extending the Centers for Disease Control’s national moratorium on evictions to stem the spread of COVID-19. That extension expires Saturday (July 31). The federal government earmarked $25 billion for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which applies to both landlords and tenants.

“If a landlord is considering eviction, I urge them to see if they and their tenant qualify for emergency assistance. It would make life easier on everyone and it doesn’t cost anything to check eligibility,” Brewster said.

Pennsylvania received $569 million through the program and much of it is still available to applicants through the Department of Human Services which has, in turn, contracted with organizations in each county to accept applications and administer the funds.

In addition to rent, the aid is available to help pay electric, gas, water, internet, and trash removal among other necessities.

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has created a web tool to help folks find the proper agency for their county.

In Allegheny County, residents can click here for information, or call 412-248-0021. In Westmoreland County residents can use the CFP finder tool, or call 724-539-3550.