The state says it doesn’t want renters to miss out on this money because they didn’t know about the program.

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Some renters continue to struggle to make ends meet, but a new statewide program hopes to ease some of that burden.

Renter Lee McCrorie told KDKA that she wishes she could just buy a house.

“I was paying $1,193, plus gas and water and all that and they just upped it to $1,200 a month,” said McCrorie.

She lives in Seven Fields and just learned about the Emergency Renter’s Assistance Program. She hopes it’ll help with her rent and piled up late fees.

“I have a lot of other bills that have been sliding and plus that one month that I was late, my sister paid it for me, so I have to pay her back,” said McCrorie.

The state sounded the alarm Tuesday, saying it doesn’t want renters to miss out on this money because they didn’t know about the program.

“This program is deliberately designed to help people dig out of what may be some very deep holes,” said Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller. “It doesn’t matter if your monthly rent is $500 or $2,500 as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.”

There’s $847 million up for grabs across 67 counties. Allegheny County created a website for applications, which can be found here.

“Allegheny County is not in any threat of running out of money. We spent just over $1 million of about 80 million,” said Erin Dalton, the Allegheny County director of Human Services.

In Beaver County, staff approved 56 applications out of 500 for $45,000 worth of relief so far.

“Now that the word is getting out, we’re starting to see an uptick in the number of applications we’re receiving,” said Marlene Landrum, director of the Community Development Program of Beaver County.

An accepted application could lead to up to a year of assistance and renters like McCrorie don’t need a landlord’s permission or consent.

“I’m just trying to at least get my sister and the late fees money back, but if I get more that would be great,” McCrorie said.

Landlords can also apply for rental assistance on behalf of their tenants.

The county you live in determines the application process.

For more information, click here.

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