Chester, PA – January 12, 2020 – On Monday, January 11, Senator John Kane (D, Delaware/Chester), alongside Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti (D, Delaware/Montgomery), and Representatives Diane Herrin (D, Chester) and Christina Sappey (D, Chester), hosted a virtual town hall on resources for families facing eviction and foreclosure. The event, attended by over 50 constituents from Delaware and Chester counties, featured presentations from Christina Drzal, the Supervising Attorney with Legal Aid of Southeastern PA’s Regional Housing Unit, and Larry Douglas, the Chester Community Improvement Project’s Housing Program Manager.
Drzal began the program by highlighting the scope of the current housing crisis, noting that up to 240,000 Pennsylvania families – 15% of the Commonwealth’s renters – could face eviction at the end of this month, when the CDC’s extended eviction ban ends. Additionally, these families are disproportionately likely to be marginalized communities, including poor women of color, domestic violence victims, and families with young children.
Drzal continued by explaining the eviction and appeal process, including how to read a court order, and explaining services Legal Aid can provide to renters. Douglas specifically outlined the process and requirements for applying for assistance through the Delco CARES Rental Assistance Program, and the City of Chester’s specific Rental and Utility Assistance Program.
“I know what it’s like to wonder where next month’s rent is going to come from,” said Senator Kane. “Right now, a quarter of a million families across Pennsylvania are living in fear that at the end of the month, in the midst of the worst pandemic we have ever seen, they might lose their homes. I’m so grateful to our panelists and co-hosts for helping to provide these critical resources to our community.”
Senator Cappelletti echoed Senator Kane’s sentiment. “Facing eviction or foreclosure is one of the hardest things our community members can go through. Everyone deserves a home that can be their safe place. I’m so glad that we were able to bring these resources to our constituents and provide the public with information that can keep them in their homes, especially during this tough time,” she said.
“I am grateful to Senator Kane for hosting this event, and to those who are working tirelessly to provide support services to people facing evictions and foreclosures during these unprecedented times,” said Representative Dianne Herrin. “With up to 15% of all renters facing eviction this month, we need to ensure everyone has easy access to these resources, and all of the state senators and representatives on this call are available to help. We also need to raise our voices to support an immediate extension of the current federal eviction and foreclosure moratorium as soon as President Biden takes office.”
Representative Sappey encouraged constituents to take action quickly. “In my experience working with constituents, often individuals facing eviction or foreclosure wait too long to reach out for assistance,” she said. “I’m thankful for our presenters and the work they do and encourage anyone facing these unfortunate circumstances to contact these resources, or my office for assistance.”
All of the elected officials also urged constituents to contact their offices for assistance in accessing resources.