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Free at-home COVID-19 tests


Beginning Wednesday January 19, every home in the U.S. can order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests will be completely free-- there are no shipping costs and you don't ned to enter a credit card number. 
 www.covidtest.gov 

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Wolf Administration Launches $350 Million
PA Homeowner Assistance Fund 
Funding Will Aid Homeowners
Facing COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Financial Hardships
For immediate release: January 6, 2022 
Published by: Governor’s Office
Media Contact: Elizabeth Rementer, Governor’s Office, [email protected]

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced the statewide launch of the Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund, or PAHAF, administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. PHFA’s plan for administration of the PAHAF has been approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. PAHAF applications will open to eligible Pennsylvania homeowners beginning February 1. 

“As we continue to advance our COVID-19 recovery efforts, we must address the rising number of homeowners facing possible loss of their homes and foreclosure – this program will do just that,” said Gov. Wolf. “The Homeowner Assistance Fund will prioritize individuals and families with the greatest need, as well as those who are socially disadvantaged. I am grateful that the U.S. Treasury has approved Pennsylvania’s plan, and we can start the new year by distributing this critical funding to homeowners.” 

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was awarded more than $350 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds through the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). The fund supports Pennsylvania homeowners whose household income is at or below 150% of the area median income (AMI) that now must grapple with additional unforeseen financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. PAHAF will use these funds to provide eligible Pennsylvania homeowners with much-needed assistance to prevent and/or ease mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, displacement and utility disconnection. 

“Our mission is to help Pennsylvanians achieve housing stability despite the many hardships faced during these uncertain times,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Robin Wiessmann. “PAHAF will provide critical support to eligible Pennsylvania homeowners, allowing families to recover and helping communities overcome the devastating financial and economic impacts of the pandemic.“ 

When PAHAF applications become available February 1, it will be possible to complete them entirely online, eliminating the need for paper submissions and simplifying the process for applicants. For those who may need in-person assistance with their applications, housing counseling agencies and legal service providers across the state will be available to help. Homeowners can learn about PAHAF and see a list of organizations that can assist them by visiting www.pahaf.org or by calling the PAHAF call center at 888-987-2423. The call center will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. 

To qualify for this assistance, eligible Pennsylvania homeowners must have experienced a reduction of income or increase in living expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic after January 21, 2020 (including a hardship that began before January 21, 2020, but continued after that date). They also must currently own and occupy their home in Pennsylvania as their primary residence. In addition, the program has specific income requirements to be eligible. To see the full list of eligibility requirements, visit https://pahaf.org/am-i-eligible/

Available PAHAF assistance programs include mortgage reinstatement assistance, forward mortgage payment assistance, assistance related to housing property charges and utility payment assistance to avoid displacement. Funds will be distributed directly to mortgage lenders, servicers, utility providers and other authorized third parties, not to homeowners. Homeowners and other interested parties are encouraged to visit www.pahaf.org to explore PAHAF resources and information.

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Stay Informed on COVID-19 in Philadelphia

 

Below are some quick ways to stay informed:For the latest updates and information on COVID-19 in Philadelphia please visit the Phila.gov webpage.

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Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Now Available
APPLY TODAY!

Attention All Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) borrowers: If your loan is $150,000 or less, you may be eligible to apply for direct forgiveness through SBA using their new online portal. See HERE to learn more about the details and eligibility for the forgiveness program. And for help submitting your application through the portal, check out this training video from the SBA.


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Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT Program 
APPLY NOW 

Wells Fargo has launched their NeighborhoodLIFT Program to help eligible homebuyers by providing money for down payments.

This program can help you buy a home of your own by reducing the strain of a down payment and closing costs. You may be eligible even if this isn't your first home purchase.
 
To learn more about the program and to see if you qualify, visit HERE.

For additional information on resources for business owners, check out Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation's (PIDC) regularly updated list of available opportunities and funding programs.

The Merchants Fund launched a Merchant Relief Fund to raise additional funds to support Philadelphia small businesses with critical need. To support the fund, please visit www.merchantsfund.org/donate. All donations are tax-deductible and 100% are given to a business in need.

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Please support the people of Haiti as they work to recover from the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the island on August 14. Many leaders in Philadelphia’s Haitian community will be traveling to Haiti in the near future to help their brothers and sisters recover from the aftermath of the earthquake.  You can help support their trips by donating to their online donation pages or by donating needed supplies.  Please check each individual link to learn more.

 Crayons for Haiti – Founder Yves Marie Desire 

Has had an ongoing partnership with schools in Haiti for a few years. She is fundraising for her Journey to Freedom Trip via Paypal. The trip starts on August 31st. Details of the trip and links are on her page.
Fundraising for a group of volunteers planning to go to Haiti in September. She has a GoFundMe link on her Facebook and Instagram page.

GoFundMe Page for ongoing fundraising for this crisis and to help rebuild homes on the island. This group also is collecting donations and will send a group of volunteers to Haiti to help with recovery efforts.