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Philadelphia is ending its rental assistance program because it’s running out of funds

The city will stop accepting new applications at 5 p.m. Friday.

Signs for homes for rent last spring in North Philadelphia, just west of Temple University.
Signs for homes for rent last spring in North Philadelphia, just west of Temple University.Read moreTOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer

Philadelphia will stop accepting new applications for rental assistance Friday at 5 p.m. because of limited remaining funds, officials announced Thursday.

The Philadelphia Housing Development Corp., which administers the program, will continue to process applications in the system, and the city will distribute funds until they run out. If the city receives additional federal or state money, the funds will go to applicants already in the system, officials said.

Since May 2020, over four phases of the rental assistance program, the city has distributed more than $248 million to almost 39,000 households that needed help paying for rent and/or utilities because of the pandemic. The city has received more than 79,000 applications in the latest phase of the program.

All landlords will be required to apply to Philadelphia’s Eviction Diversion Program before pursuing evictions in court, and mediation will be available for tenants and landlords who need help reaching agreements, according to the city. Previous iterations of the diversion program were tied to pandemic-related financial hardships and applied only to landlords seeking evictions for nonpayment of rent.

The Philadelphia Inquirer is one of more than 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push toward economic justice. See all of our reporting at