More than $ 45 billion in rental assistance is now available. Here’s what you need to know about the application:
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Am i eligible?
To qualify, at least one member of your household must be eligible for unemployment benefits or have written confirmation that they have lost income or incurred significant costs as a result of the pandemic.
You will also need to demonstrate a risk of homelessness, which may include an overdue rent or an indication of utility charges.
Additionally, your 2020 income level cannot exceed 80% of the median income in your area, even though states have been instructed to prioritize applicants with a decline of 50% or less and applicants who have been unemployed for 90 days or more.
Are the funds available now?
Not all states have their rental assistance program in place yet, but all states should have one at some point.
“If individuals are in a state that has not yet opened the program, they should check to see if their location offers a rental assistance program,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
How do I apply?
“Where or how to apply varies from city to city,” said Emily Benfer, visiting law professor at Wake Forest University.
Rent Assistance Funds already existed in many areas, and it is through one of these funds that you apply for the new assistance. In other cases, programs are put in place to cash out the money, Benfer said.
“Tenants should contact local housing associations, their agents, or the local 211/311 lines to identify programs and how to apply,” she added.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition also has a database of rental assistance programs.
Your landlord can also apply for you, but will need to obtain your signature and then provide you with a copy of the application.
How much could i get
Many of the programs have no limits on the amount of funding you can receive, Yentel said. Instead, there is a cap on the number of monthly rentals you can receive.
Some programs provide housing allowance payments for 12 months. Others may offer financing for up to 18 months’ rent.
The money will be sent to your landlord. If your landlord refuses to accept the money, you may be able to get it right away.
I’m worried about the eviction. What should I do?
Apply for the money right away.
Also understand your rights. Most tenants should be allowed to stay in their homes at least until the end of March, as President Joe Biden announced in September an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that made eviction illegal for non-payment.
To take advantage of this protection, you must confirm on a declaration form that you meet certain requirements, e.g. B. Expecting to earn less than $ 99,000 in the 2020-2021 calendar year.
“If a tenant cannot pay the rent, he should present the statement to his owner as soon as possible,” said Benfer.