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Allegheny County’s rent and utility relief program is now accepting applications

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Allegheny County’s rent and utility relief program will begin accepting applications on Monday morning, according to county officials.

Beginning at 8 a.m., eligible county residents who are renting will be able to apply for assistance from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program on the county’s website. Officials said the site is now live, allowing those who are interested to sign up for email and text alert updates.

Applicants are eligible for the program if they have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to officials, including provable loss of income or employment, COVID-related increases in expenses such as medical bills or care of a household member, or the inability to get back to work for those laid off prior to March 2020.

Those who are eligible can apply online or can call ACTION-Housing at 412-248-0021 to make an appointment to complete an application over the phone with a case manager.

For those without access to the internet, seven drop-in centers will be available throughout the county, beginning on Monday, where internet access and computers are available for applicants to use.

The drop-in centers will be located at Focus on Renewal in McKees Rocks, Gwen’s Girls on the North Side, Kingsley Association in Larimer, Wilkinsburg Family Support Center in Wilkinsburg, Greater Valley Community Services in Braddock, South Hills Interfaith Movement in Bethel Park and The Wander Building in McKeesport.

Applicants will have to show proof of residence and income, officials said. Applicants also are encouraged to gather other required documents that show their risk of being evicted, such as a lease or a notice that their rent is in arrears.

Once all documentation is submitted, the applications will be reviewed for eligibility and individuals should receive a response within three weeks, according to officials.

Applicants who are denied will have the opportunity to appeal.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is being overseen by the county Department of Human Services (DHS), county officials said. The program will distribute the nearly $80 million in federal funding awarded to the county and the city of Pittsburgh.

Read the full story here.