Allentown set aside hundreds of thousands of dollars Friday to help low-income residents pay rent during the pandemic and they’ve already been maxed out

Written by on May 5, 2020

Allentown set aside hundreds of thousands of dollars Friday to help low-income residents pay rent during the pandemic and they’ve already been maxed out

by Chloe Nouvelle & Tyler Pratt

May 5, 2020

The city of Allentown recently set aside $400,000 dollars to help low-income residents pay rent during the pandemic. Those funds were made available Friday. And as WLVR’s Chloe Nouvelle reports, they’ve already been maxed out. 

The rental assistance program was funded by the federal CARES Act, to help provide housing relief to low-income residents during the crisis. Allentown payouts were set at $3,000. The application period opened Friday, May 1 — when rent was due for many residents. 

Leonard Lightner is Allentown’s director of community and economic development. He says the response was so overwhelming, the program closed after a day.

“Overall, we probably had over 400 calls… coming in over, you know, the entire day when it’s all said and done, we have about 255 applications. So at that point in time, we had to, we had to stop, we didn’t want to continue to keep it open, and give people a false hope,” said Lightner. 

Lightner says the program may only be able to service about 185 applicants. But the city is currently looking for more funding sources and creative ways to help low-income families and individuals pay their rent. 


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