Under a new court order, Bucks County residents seeking help paying rent have additional time to prevent an eviction while their applications are being reviewed.
Bucks County President Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr. on Thursday signed an order granting a 30-day stay in eviction cases where a tenant has applied for aid through the Bucks Emergency Rental Assistance (BERA) program or similar programs.
“We appreciate Judge Bateman and the courts’ recognition of the importance of this challenging situation facing those who rent in Bucks County,” said Diane Ellis-Marseglia, chair of the Board of Commissioners. “Outreach and paperwork take time, and every extra minute counts when it comes to getting residents the help they need.”
Funded with millions in federal COVID-relief dollars, the county launched BERA earlier this year in partnership with Bucks County Housing Link. Since March 1, the program has paid out $7.78 million to landlords and provided assistance to 858 households.
The stay order comes as the latest extension of a CDC moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent is set to expire July 31. People unable to pay rent because they have lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic will not be ousted if they have applied for BERA aid and submitted a request for stay to the court.
To receive a stay, renters facing eviction must request one using a form that has been incorporated into the BERA application process. The BERA program will also submit requests for stay on behalf of applicants where possible.
Those who need help paying rent or utilities but who are not facing eviction may also qualify for aid through BERA. Applications are typically assigned to a caseworker for review within two business days.
Learn more by calling 1-888-50-BUCKS or visiting buckscounty.gov/renthelp.
View the full text of the order here.
Media Contact: James O’Malley, 215-348-6414, [email protected]