Judge Brown Interviewed About New Mediation Program
On November 19, 2020, Judge Ken Brown (retired) was interviewed by Chris Keating from WNEP. Judge Brown spoke about the landlord/tenant mediation program.
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The nationwide CDC stay of eviction is set to be lifted on January 1 of the new year. After that date, many tenants in Lycoming County could face eviction.
"The fear is that there is going to be a lot of eviction cases, danger of homelessness in the time of COVID, and children will be affected," said Ken Brown of the Lycoming Law Association.
A new progr hopes to eliminate that problem. Ken Brown is a retired Lycoming County judge. He is working with the Lycoming Law Association as a mediator to help both tenants and landlords during this tough time.
"The purpose of the program is to see if we can get landlords and tenants together with a neutral mediator and resolve their problems. It is a free program; no one has to pay anything. They simply have to call a volunteer. We have to set up a mediation that has been agreed to by both a landlord and tenant," said Brown.
Both tenants who won't be able to pay rent and landlords who hae been financially affected by the pandemic can seek assistance through this new program.
"We can help solve problems by getting money to landlords to try and keep tenants in apartments, and if not, then get some time for them to move someplace else," said Brown.
The program has many sources for funding, but the biggest is the Pennsylvania Cares Act. That money has to be returned at the end of November, so mediators are urging tenants and landlords to apply as soon as possible.
"In one of the cases, we were able to help a landlord get about $5,000 in assistance, and that landlord owed an awful lot of money on mortgages. One I just did last week, we were able to get $1,000 for that landlord," said Brown.