Policy Hearing Will Advise On Legal Aid For Tenants In Evictions | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

CHESTER COUNTY, PA — The Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public hearing next week on legal aid for tenants facing evictions.

Nearly $2 million in CARES Act funds for eviction relief was designated last week toward Community Development Block Grants, and Chester County was allocated $285,451 to help residents here at risk of eviction from their homes. Eviction is a legal matter, usually related to a lease or contract, and people facing eviction also face legal fees.

Next Wednesday’s hearing will collect testimony from policy experts as they work on legislation to provide legal aid for tenants. It will be held at 3 p.m. Sept. 23 in Room G-50 Irvis Office Building in Harrisburg. The public may watch the meeting at www.pahouse.com/live.

The hearing was requested by state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila; Morgan Cephas, D-Phila.; and Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny, according to a media release from State Rep. Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster).

Testifiers will include:

  • Patrick Cicero, executive director, Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network.
  • John Pollock, staff attorney, Public Justice Center.
  • Rasheedah Phillips, managing attorney of housing policy, Community Legal Services, Inc.
  • Bob Damewood, staff attorney, Regional Housing Legal Services.
  • Kevin Quisenberry, legislative director, Community Justice Project.
  • A. Michael Snyder, chancellor, Philadelphia Bar Association.
  • Catherine Carr, civil Gideon and Access to Justice Task Force co-chair, Philadelphia Bar Association.

The earlier allocation of Community Development Block Grants focuses funds towards places with households facing higher risk of eviction. The funds can be used to provide temporary financial assistance to meet rental obligations for up to 6 months and are focused toward places with households facing higher risk of eviction. Specifically:

  • Communities with high rates of individuals in industries with high job loss in states with high unemployment;
  • Communities with high rates of businesses in industries with high job loss in states with high unemployment; and
  • Concentrations of those most at risk for transmission and risk of eviction, with higher amounts for states with high rates of coronavirus.

Following the hearing, testimonies and full hearing video will be posted at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee.


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