As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the United States, the federal government ordered a temporary halt to evictions of most renters and homeowners unable to pay landlords or mortgages. This eviction moratorium has ended, and landlords again have the ability to evict renters unable to pay rent, putting thousands of people at risk for homelessness.
According to projections from the Pool Center for Health Analytics, the number of homeless people in the seven counties served by Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) could increase by 50% now that the moratorium has expired, leaving up to more than 15,000 people homeless.
Valley Health Partners Street Medicine program, which provides care regardless of ability to pay to the homeless of Lehigh and Northampton counties in encampments and shelters, is preparing to care for more homeless patients. “Our supply of medications, food, tents, blankets and other items will be stretched beyond need by the anticipated surge,” said Nani Cuadrado, PA-C, Valley Health Partners Street Medicine Program Director. “Our goal is to provide comprehensive health care and make people aware of the resources provided by our great partners who help those facing homelessness by providing access to federal funding to help landlords with available units.”
The Landlord Engagement Program encourages landlords to join a network of their peers who have agreed to rent to homeless or at-risk households. Provided by the Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board (LVRHAB), the program ensures guaranteed rent, reimbursement for property damage, missed rent, case management for tenants and other support. Landlords who agree to working with LVRHAB clients are eligible for a $1,000 sign-on bonus. Landlords also have access to $2,500 in funds to assist with bringing vacant units to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standards.
Landlords interested in learning about the Landlord Engagement Program, and people who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless can contact these organization for information and assistance:
900 S. Woodward St.
Allentown, PA 18103
The Lehigh Conference of Churches
457 Allen St.
Allentown, PA 18102
610-433-6421 or 610-439-8653
New Bethany Ministries
333 Fourth St.
Bethlehem, PA 18015
610-691-5602, option 2