Author Archives: Joan Belfus

  1. What is Targeted Financial Assistance (TFA)?

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    What is Targeted Financial Assistance (TFA)?

    Landlords are required to participate in the City of Philadelphia’s Eviction Diversion Program before seeking to evict in court.  As part of this program, the City assigned special funds to help with back rent called Targeted Financial Assistance (TFA).  Tenants are not eligible to apply.

    To qualify for money, landlords must first apply for the Eviction Diversion Program.  If the landlord seeks $3000 or less in past due rent and arrears, the application may be assigned for Targeted Financial Assistance (TFA).  This cap or limit on past due rent may change and the application may not be eligible for money.  If eligible for TFA, further steps are needed from the landlord and tenant, see below.

    Targeted Financial Assistance will pay past due rent and arrears in the application plus two months’ of forward rent.  Payments go directly to the landlord.  Payout is possible within 30 days but often is delayed due to landlord inaction.

    Tenants will be assigned a City service representative to help complete the application and provide updates.  The service representative works for the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC) and also helps the landlord. 

    Contact the service representative to find the status of your landlord’s TFA application and payout.

    My landlord’s application for the Eviction Diversion Program was approved. Am I eligible for Targeted Financial Assistance?

    You received an automated approval message by text and/or email.  This notification contains a special number starting with “EVP” then 9 random letters or numbers.  For example, EVP-123456ABC.

    Use the EVP number to check your status online or visit https://eviction-diversion.phila.gov/#/Status.  The status will show:

    • If you are assigned for Targeted Financial Assistance.
    • The name and contact information for the assigned City service representative to help with Targeted Financial Assistance.
    • If you need to contact the tenant hotline to participate in mediation and what issues the landlord wishes to talk about.

    What if the status page says the application is not eligible for TFA?

    Your landlord’s application is not eligible for TFA.  You may still reach an agreement to avoid eviction.

    Direct negotiation.  Generally if more than the arrears cap is claimed in back rent, tenants are not eligible for mediation but instead can attempt direct negotiation with the landlord.  Review the status page to confirm.  You have 30 days to attempt to reach an agreement with the landlord.  For further help, visit Eviction Diversion: Direct Negotiation Pathway.

    Mediation.  Review the statue page to confirm. Check near the bottom.  If eligible, contact the tenant hotline to be assigned a housing counselor and telephone mediation date 215-523-9501. For further help, visit Eviction Diversion: Mediation Pathway.

    You may reach an agreement to bring arrears under the arrears cap and re-apply for the Eviction Diversion Program.  A landlord may agree to waive or not charge arrears more than the arrears cap to qualify for funds.  Landlords should include an updated ledger.

    My landlord’s application is eligible for TFA. What do I do?

    You must provide the tenant affidavit.  Your income must be below 80% of the Area Median Income.  Visit the City’s Eviction Diversion Program website under Tenant Affidavit. 

    Submit the tenant affidavit to your assigned service representative.  Check the status page to find contact information for the service representative.  Service representatives are assigned 1-2 business days after you receive the approval notice for the Eviction Diversion Program.

    You may contact the service representative to find the status of your landlord’s application for Targeted Financial Assistance.

    I submitted the tenant affidavit. How do I check the status of TFA?

    Tenants have limited access to updates about TFA status.  You may confirm if the landlord has started the additional TFA application through the status page.

    For current TFA status including application approval, denial and payout, reach out to your landlord or the assigned service representative.  Contact information for the assigned service representative is found on the status page.

    What steps does the landlord need to take to complete TFA?

    The landlord must create a portal account and complete a separate TFA application. 

    Landlords can complete a TFA application generally 1-2 days after initial eligibility from the Eviction Diversion Program.  This includes uploading additional documents including a landlord affidavit, a W9 form and banking information.  Instructions are available at on the City’s Eviction Diversion Program Website, scroll to the bottom:

    Unfortunately, tenants are not eligible to apply for Targeted Financial Assistance.  If a landlord needs help, reach out to the assigned service representative found on the status page.

    How long does it take for TFA to pay out?

    Payout is possible within 30 days but often is delayed due to landlord inaction.

    Landlords can complete a TFA applications generally 1-2 days after initial eligibility from the Eviction Diversion Program.  Tenants must also submit a tenant affidavit.  Landlords must monitor for any issues with submitted materials and provide corrections immediately.

    After the TFA application is approved by the City, the application is sent to a vendor to be paid out.  Timelines for payout vary and may take up to 2-4 weeks.

    Tenants have limited access to updates about TFA status.  You may confirm if the landlord has started the additional TFA application through the status page.

    For current TFA status including application approval, denial and payout, reach out to your landlord or the assigned service representative.  Contact information for the City agent is found on the status page.

    My landlord is threatening to file for eviction in court. What do I do?

    Your landlord will be ineligible for TFA funds if they file an eviction complaint in court. 

    Inform your landlord and seek to negotiate a temporary agreement.  See the City’s Eviction Diversion Program website: How is Eligibility for Targeted Financial Assistance determined?

    While TFA is pending, you may enter into a temporary payment plan.  Make ongoing rent payments.  Any TFA funds received can be applied as a credit to your account.

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