Pisciottano signs on to effort to provide rent, mortgage relief for those impacted by pandemic

HARRISBURG, Jan. 13 – Newly sworn-in state Rep. Nick Pisciottano has joined House Democratic leadership in co-sponsoring a measure designed to help Pennsylvanians struggling to pay their rent or mortgage during the current pandemic.

Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, said the Pennsylvania Housing Energy Lessee Protection Strategy, or PA HELPS, is a $974 million proposal that would keep people in their homes, thus avoiding evictions and foreclosures, and it also would help local landlords. PA HELPS would direct the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to set up an easy-to-use program to quickly provide assistance to those in need.

“We have thousands of Pennsylvanians, including many in my district, who continue to struggle to pay their rent or mortgage as this pandemic continues, and they can’t afford to wait any longer for the help they need and deserve,” said Pisciottano. “This proposal would do just that and remove the fear and anxiety they’ve been experiencing and allow them to stay safely in their homes.”

The $974 million in funding included in the proposal is composed of $852 million in estimated federal aid allocated to Pennsylvania for emergency rental assistance. It also includes $122 million that would be redirected back from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. In November, the $122 million that was originally earmarked toward rental and mortgage relief was instead used to close a state budget gap.