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Allegheny County launches program to provide rent, utility relief

The Downtown Pittsburgh Skyline

Tribune-Review – Allegheny County residents struggling to pay rent or utility bills can apply for help through a program that launched Monday.

The program is a cooperative effort by the county, the City of Pittsburgh, Action Housing and Dollar Energy. It will distribute nearly $36 million in federal coronavirus appropriations to help people get caught up on their rent and utility bills.

Announced in February, the program’s website started accepting applications Monday.

Eligibility requirements are met if at least one person in a household qualifies for unemployment or has suffered financially because of the covid-19 pandemic and if the household income is below 80% of the median income for Allegheny County. A family of four can be eligible if their income is less than $66,400.

Before applying, a person should have an unemployment determination letter, a copy of their lease agreement, utility bills, tax forms and pay stubs to prove their income, along with Social Security numbers for each person in the household.

Applications are only accepted online. Those who need help should call 412-248-0021.

There are also “drop-in” centers equipped with computers and Wi-Fi for those who need it.

Here are the locations:

  • Focus on Renewal, 420 Chartiers Avenue, McKees Rocks; it is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
  • Gwen’s Girls, 711 W. Commons 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh; it is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
  • Kingsley Association, 6435 Frankstown Avenue, Pittsburgh; it is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
  • Wilkinsburg Family Support, 807 Wallace Avenue, Pittsburgh; it is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
  • Greater Valley Community Services, 300 Holland Avenue, Braddock; it is open from noon to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
  • South Hills Interfaith Movement – Bethel Park, 5301 Park Avenue, Bethel Park; it is open from noon to 4:30 p.m. Monday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
  • The Wellness Collective, 337 Fifth Avenue, McKeesport; it is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 1 to 8 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. It is closed from noon to 1 p.m. each day.
  • Brashear Association’s Neighborhood Employment Center, 730 E. Warrington Avenue, Pittsburgh. It will open March 22. Its hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Virtual meetings to explain the program will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday online. For information about the meetings, click here.

A similar program helped 3,600 households using $14 million in federal cash last year during the pandemic.

Read the full story here.