A revised law banning evictions in Pittsburgh was passed by the city council on Tuesday.
The law is also supported by Mayor Bill Peduto.
“I hope we see some level of enforcement,” said councilor Deb Gross.
Gross worked with community activists and city officials to clarify the law designed to protect people in trouble due to the coronavirus pandemic from being evicted from their homes.
However, it has taken months to come up with a temporary ban on evictions that can be enforced and withstand legal challenges. The Council initially adopted the ban on March 2nd.
Before being incorporated into law by Peduto, a North Huntingdon-based group that represents landlords, they sued the city on March 5 for the law exceeding powers granted to the city under state law.
City officials worked with their legal team to revise the legal language to more clearly define who can be evicted and to reduce penalties from up to $ 10,000 to $ 1,000 for a landlord evicting an adult or up to $ 2,500 for a landlord who can be evicted to reduce evicts a family with children under 13.
Peduto supports the revisions and will sign the law, said his spokesman, Tim McNulty.
The Council unanimously approved the revisions.
According to Councilor Bruce Kraus, the challenge was to pass a law that would stand up to legal challenges that can be enforced and protect people facing financial difficulties from displacement.
The moratorium will end when the city’s Covid-19 emergency expires. The final emergency declaration runs until April 13, but the council has regularly extended the emergency while the pandemic continues.
The city’s human relations commission is deciding whether landlords can get an exemption from the law to evict tenants who have both a health and safety issue. The Commission has added information on the moratorium on its website.
Landlords and tenants can also apply for federal rents and aid funds, which are administered through a joint Pittsburgh / Allegheny County program that distributes $ 36 million federal funds to help people pay rents and utilities, too can cover the rent back to the landlord.
Information about the program can be found here.
Tom Davidson is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter.