The city of Harrisburg has issued its own moratorium— renewed every 30 days—on evictions for nonpayment of rent, Rich said. But the whole country is under a moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention until June. The Harrisburg policies mirror the CDC policies. Here are the highlights of the CDC program, according to the presentation from Rich and Cunningham.
- The purpose of the eviction ban was for public health and safety—to prevent people from being displaced, which could further spread COVID-19.
- The order does not automatically apply to all tenants; instead, the tenant must sign a “declaration” and provide it to the landlord to seek the protections.
- The order only applies to cases where the only issue is non-payment of rent and not to other violations of the lease.
- In many counties in Pennsylvania, including Dauphin County, cases are still being filed; hearings are still being held; judgments are still being entered; and, in some cases, OFPs are still being issued. The CDC order only prevents the final step—the actual, physical eviction—from taking place.
- In the declaration form signed by the tenant, the tenant acknowledges that the non-payment of rent is due to financial hardship and that efforts have been made to obtain government assistance. Tenants also acknowledge that they have made their best efforts to make partial payments and that they will become homeless if evicted. They also acknowledge that they still must pay the rent and could be charged fees and penalties
This story is part of a larger feature on a Eviction Mediation Program in Dauphin County.