Dear PA Off-Campus Relief,
This email is in response to an email sent out to State College real estate management companies and landlords from your organized group of concerned State College community members and lessees.
Many off campus property managers and owners have received the same letter from a variety of different people. In order to present a consistent message, we are responding in unison with the same response.
We (owners and managers) are all individuals deeply vested in this community. Collectively, we are very sympathetic to the stresses Covid19 has placed upon everyone. We responded to that in many ways, one of which was to create a committee of property owners/managers in March with the intention of responding to the needs and concerns of our residents and of the community at large.
All of us have been assessing and modifying policies and procedures based upon the current CDC guidance and on an individual basis to accommodate those folks who have specific needs as a result of Covid19. In Governor Wolf’s May 22nd announcement, he reinforced that tenants are still responsible for rent obligations and thus the offering of leniency to those truly in need does not relieve the obligations of others.
A large group of off campus property owners combined to make a significant donation to the Penn State Emergency Fund to help Penn State students. Landlords are also working closely with student and non-student residents on an individual basis to address hardships.
We agree that Move-out & Return to Work/School Plans need to be coordinated to help ensure everyone’s safety. Our off-campus housing group is working closely with Penn State and the Borough of State College to address the complexities of the move in process so it can be effectuated in a manner that promotes health and safety during these difficult times. There is a committee established with representatives from our group, the Borough and Penn State that meets regularly on this matter.
We are also working with Penn State and the Borough of State College on a messaging campaign to ensure a healthy environment upon the start of classes in the fall.
We note the letter asks for disclosure of relief funds and asks that any funds received should be shared with residents. The purpose of the relief funds, as specifically stated in the act, is to help keep staff employed and not designated to provide relief to residents. The Government established other programs to help citizens in need such as the stimulus checks and the expanded unemployment benefits.
Like you, our goal has been to support public health and safety and to support one another to the best of our ability.