News

Fair Housing News – September 2021

HECP now has two new educational publications for consumers available. The first, “Think You’ve Experienced Housing Discrimination?” is a fact sheet for consumers who have experienced housing discrimination, explaining the next steps that should be taken to protect their fair housing rights. This publication provides information about the formal complaint process and outlines the proper retention of evidence in order to successfully document an allegation of discrimination.


Fair Housing News – August 2021

HECP is excited to introduce our new Outreach Coordinator, Patricia Bell. Prior to joining HECP Patricia worked as a Program Manager for a fair housing organization in Nashville, Tennessee. During her time in Nashville, she also worked as part of a team to develop, “Understanding Nashville’s Housing Crisis Part 3: Residential Segregation”, an advocacy tool to support Nashville residents. She has spent time in Richmond, Virginia and Washington, DC working collaboratively with community partners, connecting people to supportive services, and advocating in partnership with clients as a Community Specialist. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Social Relations from Cheyney University

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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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Fair Housing News – July 2021

HECP is excited to announce the launch of our new Know Your Rights as a Renter in Pennsylvania website. This interactive online version of our comprehensive manual features searchable information on renters’ rights, resources for tenant self-advocacy, and downloadable customizable sample letters.


Fair Housing News – June 2021

Through our enforcement program as of spring 2021, HECP is proud to have reached the milestone of ending discriminatory practices at over 50,000 units of housing throughout the Greater Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley regions. Thanks to the tireless work of our staff, partners, and supporters these units have been made available, without discriminatory restrictions, to members of the protected classes and their families.


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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Fair Housing News – April 2021

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. After assisting an Upper Darby resident whose tenancy was threatened to be terminated due to minor lease violations that were a direct result of his disability-related symptoms, HECP conducted a systemic investigation of Presby’s Inspired Life documenting the unwillingness of seventeen affordable senior living complexes to permit reasonable accommodations for residents with disabilities.


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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Fair Housing News – February 2021

On January 26, President Biden issued a memo to the Secretary of HUD instructing the agency to take actions to remedy the nation’s long history of discriminatory housing practices and policies. In particular, the memo requires that HUD examine the impact of recent regulatory actions regarding affirmatively furthering fair housing and disparate impact and take any necessary steps to make sure that HUD administer its programs in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing and ensures fair housing compliance, including preventing practices with an unjustified discriminatory effect.


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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