Category Archives: Uncategorized

Updated Information on COVID-19 and Eviction Protections for Renters and Homeowners

UPDATE: The Center for Disease Control has issued a new order temporarily halting evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission in order to respond to recent developments in the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new moratorium is in effect through October 3, 2021 and covers counties experiencing substantial or high transmission rates, as shown on the CDC map. In order to qualify for protection from eviction under this order, the tenant will need to sign a declaration form as under the previous moratorium. UPDATE: The Center for Disease Control has issued a federal eviction moratorium that has

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Apply for CARES ACT Emergency Rental Assistance

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program or ERAP was created to help renters dealing with financial challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For eligible households, the program offers rental and utility assistance to help Pennsylvanians avoid eviction or loss of utility service. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 included funding for states to establish emergency rental assistance programs. Pennsylvania received approximately $569 million to administer assistance to renters, landlords, and utility providers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic insecurity. Apply for CARES ACT Emergency Rental Assistance Bucks County: Online application available at www.buckscounty.org/renthelp or call 1-888-50-BUCKS for assistance applying. Chester

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Affordable Housing Provider to Pay $115,000 for Disability Discrimination at Philadelphia-Area Apartment Complexes

The Housing Equality Center of Pennsylvania (HECP) and a Delaware County resident have entered into an agreement resolving allegations that Presby’s Inspired Life, Alician Senior Housing, and sixteen other apartment complexes in Bucks, Delaware, and Philadelphia Counties violated the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against residents with disabilities. In December 2018, HECP was contacted when a man residing at Alician Senior Housing in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, received a letter stating that his tenancy was being terminated due to minor lease violations that were a direct result of his disability-related symptoms. HECP submitted a reasonable accommodation request on his behalf, asking

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HUD to Accept Complaints of Housing Discrimination Based on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on February 11, 2021 that it will use the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Effective immediately, HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity will accept for filing and investigate all complaints of sex discrimination, including discrimination because of gender identity or sexual orientation, that meet other jurisdictional requirements. Under the new policy, FHEO will investigate and enforce potential fair housing violations against LGBTQ individuals, which can either be settled between the parties or referred to the Justice Department for prosecution.

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Philadelphia Apartment Owner Pays $42,000 for Failure to Make Reasonable Accommodations for Residents with Disabilities

The Housing Equality Center of Pennsylvania (“HECP”), has entered into an agreement resolving a federal housing discrimination complaint against Post Presidential Property Owner, LLC and Post Commercial Real Estate, LLC, the owner and manager of Presidential City Apartments in Philadelphia, for violating the disability portion of the federal Fair Housing Act. The agreement came after a charge of discrimination issued in November by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In July of 2018, HECP received a complaint alleging that Presidential City Apartments was refusing to waive pet fees for assistance animals when requested as a reasonable accommodation by

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Levittown Apartment Complex Pays $80,000 for Failure to Make Reasonable Accommodations for Residents with Disabilities

The Housing Equality Center of Pennsylvania (“HECP”), Jane Moyra Flannery, and an additional Bucks County resident entered into a conciliation agreement resolving federal housing discrimination complaints against Brittany Springs Apartments and HUB Realty for violating the disability portion of the federal Fair Housing Act. In May of 2018, HECP received a complaint from Ms. Flannery who lived at Brittany Springs Apartments in Levittown, Pennsylvania. She needed reasonable accommodations for a transfer to a first floor unit and a reserved parking space near her unit due to a disability that impaired her ability to walk long distances. HECP assisted Ms. Flannery

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New Fair Housing for Local Governments Manual Available

HECP has developed a new comprehensive manual for local governments on their responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act. This guide is designed to provide local governments, including elected officials, municipal staff, zoning board members, and solicitors, an introduction to fair housing as it relates to their role in setting and implementing local policy concerning residential uses. The manual includes detailed information on fair housing issues in zoning and land use, design and construction requirements, nuisance and crime-free housing ordinances, affirmatively furthering fair housing, and increasing fair housing choice for residents and constituents. You can download an electronic copy of the

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HECP’s COVID-19 Update

To minimize risk to our staff, clients, and partners, the Housing Equality Center will be following guidance provided by the Montgomery County and Pennsylvania Health Departments for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. All staff are teleworking and will be available by both phone and email to assist with complaints of housing discrimination, provide technical assistance on fair housing, and schedule and deliver trainings via webinar. We will still accept requests for print materials, although delivery of publication orders may be delayed. Thank you for your patience as we adjust our programing to this situation. As always, you may consult

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New Reasonable Accommodation Manual Available

Housing discrimination against people with disabilities often takes the form of housing providers refusing to permit reasonable accommodations or reasonable modifications that allow individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their dwelling. HECP has developed a new comprehensive manual on reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications for persons with disabilities under the Fair Housing Act. This resource includes detailed instructions for requesting reasonable accommodations and modifications, information on medical verifications and assistance animals, sample accommodation and modification requests, and rights and responsibilities of both consumers with disabilities and housing providers under the Fair Housing Act. You can download

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Allentown Apartment Complex Pays $60,000 for Discriminating Against Families with Children

The Housing Equality Center of Pennsylvania (“HECP”) and Lehigh County resident, Brittany Bernard, have entered into a settlement agreement resolving allegations that Devonshire Park Apartments violated the federal Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent to families with children. HECP conducted an investigation of Devonshire Park, a 271 unit Allentown apartment complex that identified itself as “active adult” in its marketing materials. The investigation documented that prospective renters representing adult households were shown available units and invited to apply, while households with children were told that all residents were required to be over the age of 21 and that the

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