Several Pittsburgh-based groups, like Familylinks, are offering help to those in need of rental and housing assistance during the pandemic.

By: KDKA-TV’s Lindsay Ward and Briana Smith

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – On Tuesday, the CDC issued a new moratorium on evictions that will last until October 3.

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Some are calling it “extraordinary relief,” but it doesn’t apply to all.


 

It applies to those living in counties with “substantial or high” levels of COVID-19 transmission.

The new moratorium could help many stay in their homes as the Delta variant continues to spread and as states have been slow to release federal rental aid.

Late last week, President Joe Biden said he was allowing the ban on evictions to expire, hoping Congress would take action but they were unable to get the votes to pass another moratorium.

He then encouraged the CDC to consider other options, which led to this new moratorium.

So, with the new extension, where is “substantial or high” levels of spread?

Locally, many southwestern Pennsylvania counties find themselves in the “orange” on the map below, indicating “high” levels of spread. That includes Allegheny County.

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For those looking for help or assistance, there are several groups providing aid.

One of those organizations is Familylinks. The Director of Business Development, Becky Haberstroh, says they have had an increase of people calling for help.

They offer several services, including NOVA, which focuses on the child welfare system. They also have a long-term program for families at risk of homelessness and facing financial difficulties, offering support with rent and utilities.

The director says the best advice is to call for help.

“It has been really challenging for so many families with COVID, loss of jobs, with all those things,” said Haberstroh. “We all collectively are committed to house people and keep them safe.”

The Pittsburgh Union of Regional Renters and Hill District Consensus Group also provide assistance.

They help people file appeals in court, fill out rental relief applications and even offer food to those who need it.

You can also receive financial help through the Allegheny County Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

The county spokesperson says more than 12,000 households have applied for assistance so far, and nearly 3,500 have received payments, distributing more than $18 million.

HELPFUL LINKS:

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You can also reach Familylinks by calling 866-583-6003.