May 5, 2020
Allentown's Covid-19 Pie
Allentown is preparing to hand out $400,000 of federal money to starve off evictions in the city. With a limit of $3,000 per tenant, they might end up helping out 135 landlords. I say landlords instead of tenants, because those tenants will probably be moving out anyway, just a month or two latter.
In trying times, which these certainly are, most landlords will work with good tenants. However, with bad tenants, a landlord's mistake in judgement quickly becomes known. Usually tenants who seek assistance in normal times are bad bets. I suspect that they will be bad bets now.
So while $400,000 won't be helping that many people, it does raise the question of how this federal Covid19 aid is being put to use. While the eviction aid sounds good on paper, it has me shaking my head.
I can only hope that the other uses of the federal financial aid package make more sense.
Well, apparently they don't.
The other aspect of the $2.1 million dollar Covid aid package to Allentown is $500,000 to small businesses. Who exactly at City Hall is qualified to decide who gets the grants? Grants will be for $5,000, meaning 100 lucky businesses. Supposedly it's first come, first serve. Often in government that means best connected, best served.
With 400 to some landlords, and 500 to some businesses, that leaves $300,000 of our federal money unaccounted for. Often in such programs the local government entity can keep an administrative fee.
Addendum: O'Hare's Ramblings reports another local proposal