Unlike other programs, you do not receive a FEPS voucher. Instead, there are two ways to get connected to housing with FEPS. The first is when you are in housing court for a case that involves nonpayment of rent. If you meet all the eligibility criteria you can get a referral from the Housing Court Liaison or from your local Public Assistance office to the closest authorized FEPS preparer. If your FEPS application is approved then your household can receive up to $7,000 in arrears payments to help resolve your housing court case. And you will also receive a monthly stipend paid directly to your landlord for up to five years (as long as the household remains eligible). In this case, the FEPS subsidy helps to keep you in your current home.
If you have already been evicted due to a court proceeding and you still meet all the other FEPS eligibility criteria then FEPS can help you to move into a new apartment. You are eligible up to one year after your eviction or up to six months after entering shelter. Although there is no such thing as a FEPS voucher, you can request an informational letter authorized FEPS preparer about the FEPS program that you can use during your housing search to show landlords how the monthly rent will be funded. You will have to find a landlord who has an apartment to rent within the FEPS rent limits and who agrees to accept FEPS. Note that it is illegal for a landlord to discriminate against a tenant because he or she receives a government subsidy.
Once you have found an apartment to rent and have a signed lease you can return to the authorized FEPS preparer and complete the application. In this case, the FEPS subsidy will be connected to the new apartment and will be paid directly to your new landlord.
In either case, there are circumstances when a family that is receiving FEPS may move, but only after receiving State approval through a FEPS provider. A move is allowed under the following circumstances:
- The family cannot pay the non-PA portion of the rent due to changes in family composition, rent increases, family income, or third party contributions.
- The family receives a court-ordered vacate notice.
- Other compelling reasons as determined by OTDA (i.e. safety, health, etc.).
If you think you qualify for FEPS, but have additional questions or need further assistance, please come into our Crisis Intervention Program to speak with an advocate.