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Financial assistance available for evicted residents

Pittston city officials say there are several agencies who can help if you're being evicted now that the eviction ban has expired.

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — For those behind on rent, utility bills, or other expenses in Pittston, their protection from eviction ended this weekend.

Congress allowed the ban on evictions to expire at midnight Saturday, despite pleas from some lawmakers to extend the moratorium.

Wendy Tigue says her family struggled through the pandemic and is still doing so.

“We did get behind a little bit but then got caught up, but we're kind of little behind right now, so it's kind of a little nerve-wracking,” said Tigue.

The eviction ban was put in place to keep tenants from being forced out of their homes due to financial losses from the pandemic.

Now, Pittston Mayor Michael Lombardo says there is assistance from several agencies for both tenants to make rent and homeowners to make their mortgage payments.

“There are places to get help, and I think I would hope that landlords are patient and understanding and give people a little bit of time,” said Lombardo.

Lombardi and the city's Home Redevelopment Authority coordinator Shannon Bonacci both say they've been referring people to the Commission on Economic Opportunity of Luzerne County.

On CEO's website, it shows the types of assistance people can find there.

“Offers utility assistance for people who are facing a hard time just paying heating bills, things like that,” said Bonacci. “They have been offering a rental relief package as well.”

On the websites of PPL and Pennsylvania American Water, the companies have posted links to financial help.

The mayor says just showing that you're willing to work with your utility company may go a long way.

Tigue says that's what she is doing.

“Got behind on little bit, and I am working with a couple of the utilities and stuff, and they were great about that,” said Tigue.

To see these assistance programs, click here.

RELATED: Tenants prepare for unknown as eviction moratorium ends

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