Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Can The Government Help You Pay Your Rent

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‘do I Qualify For Rent Relief’

What You NEED To Do When You Cant Pay Your Rent – Tenant Tips

The program is targeted at low-income renters and their landlords.

To be eligible for the aid, tenants must make less than 80% of the local median income. Median income varies widely from county to county, and also depends on how many people live in your household. Dont know what your local area median income is? Heres a handy cheat sheet from the state.

The tenants must also have at least one person in the household who has lost a job or income during the pandemic and can show they are at risk of homelessness. A past-due rent or utility bill can be used to show a risk of homelessness.

The state wants to get relief as quickly as it can to the most vulnerable renters first, and is sending the first round of checks to households that are making 50% or below the areas median income, or someone who has been unemployed for 90 days or more. People in higher-income tiers, but no more than 80% AMI, will receive aid next.

Some cities like Oakland, who opted to run their own programs, are going even further and prioritizing households making less 30 % AMI or below.

Can The Federal Government Help

Tomorrow is April 1st, here’s America’s housing tab . Unclear who can pay! More needs to be done to protect renters, landlords, homeowners, and stabilize the housing market. #protectrenters#paylandlords#stabilizethehousingmarket#StayAtHome

Mary Cunningham

Rental Help For Veterans

If youre a veteran, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides help for homeless veterans. Nonprofit organizations like Veterans Inc. may also be able to help those who need help with rent through its housing program. If youre disabled, the federal government has an assistance program to provide funding to develop and subsidize low income rental housing for adults with disabilities.

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Find The Right Program

For renters, figuring out where exactly to apply to can be the biggest hurdle. There are now more than 450 city, county, state and tribal rent aid programs in the U.S. each with different requirements.

In most cases, renters should go to the most local program they can find. Use an online lookup tool, such as or the Treasury Department’s website, to enter your address and find a program near you. If there isn’t a local program serving your area, check out what your state offers.

Renters can also call a hotline to find out which program to apply to as well as get connected to a local nonprofit that will help them fill out the application. Here are rent-assistance hotlines for the biggest states:

  • Wisconsin:

‘what Documents Or Information Will I Need’


Landlords will need some documentation proving they are the property owner. That could include a deed, a mortgage note, property tax statements or a current lease agreement. If it is an informal living situation and there is no signed lease, bank statements that show rent is being collected are also accepted. Property managers can also apply on behalf of a landlord.

Eligible tenants have to have some financial impact from COVID-19. There is an opportunity to provide documentation, like a recent pay stub or a termination letter, but it is not required and a written attestation that they have been impacted is sufficient.

Renters must also demonstrate housing instability or risk of homelessness. This could be owed back rent or an overdue utility bill.

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What Help Is Available For My Home Energy Bill

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program may be able to help with:

  • Assistance to pay your heating or cooling bills
  • Emergency services in cases of energy crisis, such as utility shutoffs
  • Low-cost home improvements, known as weatherization, that make your home more energy efficient and lower your utility bills.

LIHEAP funds may not be used to pay water and sewer bills.

Learn About Public Housing

Public housing is state-owned, affordable rental houses or apartments. It’s intended for families with low incomes, seniors, and people with disabilities. Found nationwide, public housing comes in all sizes and types, from single-family houses to high rise apartments. The Department of Housing and Urban Development administers the program.

Since the demand for public housing is often larger than the amount of housing available to HUD and the local PHA, long waiting periods are common. A PHA may close its waiting list when there are more families on the list than can be assisted in the near future.

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How To Apply Or Re

You must re-apply for a rate reduction each year. Whether you are applying for the first time or re-applying, the process is the same.

You will need to:

  • have access to information about all your sources of income
  • complete one of four main forms
  • complete additional forms if you are asking to keep income to support a dependent or involuntarily do not live with your partner
  • submit your forms to the long-term care home where you are applying for the rate reduction

I Am Facing Eviction What Protections Do I Have

Help paying rent and mortgage if sick, underemployed, or unemployed

State and federal eviction protections may apply to you. In June 2021, Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021 was signed into law. This extended protections for tenants and requires courts to pause non-payment eviction cases when tenants have pending applications for rental assistance. If you are facing eviction and have not yet applied for assistance, begin the process through the Central Application.

For more information, and to connect with free legal aid for eligible renters and small landlords, go to .

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What Your Loan Servicer Must Do If You Request Forbearance

If you’re having trouble making payments on your federally backed mortgage because of the COVID-19 pandemic, contact your loan servicer before September 30, 2021. Your loan servicer must:

  • Defer or reduce your payments for 180 days if you contact them to make arrangements

  • Give you another 180 days of mortgage relief at your request

  • Offer options for how you can make up the deferred or reduced payments. They will discuss these options with you at the end of your forbearance period.

Cities & States Offering Emergency Rent Assistance Programs & Rent Relief Funds

*NOTE* The emergency rent assistance funds on our list may no longer be available, depending on how quickly the funds were distributed. Visit the sources we provide below to find more information on whether government rental assistance funding is still accessible or if other funding programs exist. To ensure the rental housing industry receives more direct funding, consider contacting your senators and representatives to urge them to support the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act.

Alabama: Rental Assistance Program and Non-Profit & Short-Term Housing Assistance

The JCCEO CSBG Rental Assistance Program was established to meet the emergency needs if households facing a financial crisis due to pandemic-related events. This program provides one-time financial assistance to those who qualify and covers expenses such as rent, water, or prescription medication. Applications are processed within 30 days.

A statewide nonprofit called Alabama Arise directs people to the statewide helpline if they need help paying rental deposits and first months rent. Individuals seeking rental assistance should ask for a referral to an agency that receives Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing funds. In addition, the Alabama Department of Human Resources Alabama is offering short-term assistance to individuals with low income and who need help paying rent. The Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama also has a benefit program that offers rent assistance.

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Youth On Their Own Program

This 501 agency focuses on dropout prevention. The program is designed specifically for students and youth. To qualify for this program, students must meet the schools attendance requirements and receive passing grades. The program provides monthly living expenses and can also provide emergency rent assistance in certain circumstances.

Overall, several private and government agencies can help pay rent and assist families during these troubling times. Since every program is unique, the important thing is to research each program to determine if you qualify for assistance based upon each programs particular criteria.

Are Renters Paying Rent During Covid


This begs the questionare renters paying rent? showed a slight downward trend but was otherwise not far off the mark from normal rates pre-COVID. Heading into May, initial data suggested the renters were prioritizing paying rent despite gloomy industry forecasts, and a full analysis of payment behavior during the May grace period revealed renters who could pay were doing so, while operators continued to offer payment plans. Ultimately, rent payments are holding steady compared to the average, but the months ahead are less clear.

The multifamily outlook from here on out is rooted in economic uncertainty, both when it comes to renters ability to pay rent and operators ability to remain flexible with renters. Even though the government is supplying affected renters with stimulus payments and supplemental employment benefits, theres no telling whether they will continue to put that money toward rent or other essentials, not to mention that funding will eventually run dry.

As Doug Bibby, president of the National Multifamily Housing Council , explains,

For that reason, lawmakers need to act now to enact a direct renter assistance program.

More than ever, its imperative that cities and states prioritize emergency rent assistance programs.

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Eviction Protection After September 30 2021

To avoid eviction for unpaid rent after September 30, 2021, you must apply for rent relief. Your landlord cannot evict you if youâve applied and are waiting to find out if youre eligible. This protection lasts until March 31, 2022.

If you get a notice from your landlord demanding rent payment, make sure you apply within 15 days.

If you owe rent and do not apply for rent relief, your landlord can evict you. Your landlord must apply for rent relief before they can evict you for unpaid rent.

Government Agencies That Help Pay Rent

There are several kinds of programs that the government has introduced to help senior citizens housing, disabled people housing, and veterans housing. It has created this program in order to ensure that people with less income get the best housing facility where they can live peacefully. So, heres a list of some of the housing solutions

Now, people having less income can find through federal funds help in paying rent of their apartment. The funds are used by the public housing authority. Plus, the property owners are provided funds to ensure that they can help the low-income people pay the rent, and it is all governed by strict rules laid down by the government.

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How To Get Emergency Housing Assistance

There are certain requirements that you need to fulfill and those requirements may also differ according to the people and their needs. For example, a senior citizen who is having a disability will get easily qualified for this program. The other requirements include

A senior citizen with a disability or a person with a disability or a family

Income is provided by the criteria of the program

Should be a citizen of the US.

Can be eligible for non citizen on the special ground.

Who Is Eligible For Rent Relief

#3 of Top 25 Gov’t Grants: Free Help Paying Your Bills, Rent or Mortgage

For federal rent relief, renters are eligible if they meet the following criteria:

  • Household income cant exceed more than 80% of the areas medium income
  • At least one member of the household must be at risk of homelessness or housing instability
  • One or more household members must qualify for unemployment benefits or have experienced financial hardship either directly or indirectly because of the pandemic

Households with lower incomes and with family members who have been unemployed for three months or more will be prioritized for assistance.

To see if you qualify for assistance, contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency in your state.

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How To Apply For A Housing Choice Voucher

  • To apply for a Housing Choice voucher, contact a public housing agency in your state. If you need more assistance, contact your local HUD office.

  • You will need to fill out a written application or have a representative of your local PHA help you.

  • The PHA representative will collect information on your family size, income, and assets.

  • The PHA will check this information with other local agencies, your employer, and your bank. This helps them decide if you qualify and how much assistance you’ll get.

  • The amount of assistance you may get is adjusted so you can afford a moderately-priced rental in your area.

  • The housing you choose must meet health and safety standards before the PHA can approve the unit.

  • After you’ve been approved for a voucher and found a place to rent, the PHA will inspect the rental before you sign your lease. These inspections are performed so the PHA can be sure the property is worth the rental price.

How To Be Eligible For These Programs

There are some criteria that you must follow and fulfill. The criteria may vary according to the needs of the people. For example, a senior with a disability have no option but to go with this program. These include-

  • A family, senior citizen or a person with a disability
  • Income limit under the programs criteria
  • Must be U.S. Citizen

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The Need For Emergency Rent Assistance Nationwideand Industry Support For Rent Relief Programs

Its an encouraging sign that many cities and states have implemented or proposed emergency rent assistance programs to aid renters and apartment operatorsbut local and state funding only goes so far. In fact, NLIHC research estimates that between $76 billion and $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed to maintain stable housing among the lowest-income households for the next year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply put, more funding is needed on a national scale.

There is currently no federal emergency rental assistance funding in place to address the rental housing industrys unprecedented financial stresses. The NLIHC, NAA, and NMHC, as well as various other housing advocates, have been proactive in encouraging Congress to address the rent crisis by enacting rental assistance programs to preserve the housing industry.

In their joint letter, NAA and NMHC have outlined provisions that go beyond the CARES Act in providing relief to millions of American renters, including:

The NLIHC is the rental housing industry to urge senators and representatives to cosponsor the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act so that the next stimulus package helps the lowest-income renters.

Other Organizations Providing Rent Relief

If your tenants canât pay rent, there are ways you can ...

If youre not eligible for federal help or your city, county or state isnt offering rent relief at this time these organizations may be able to help.

  • Local housing authorities Local housing authorities like United Way have resources and recommendations that may help.
  • State housing finance agencies To understand what help you may qualify for, contact your local public housing agency or call 1-800-955-2232.
  • State or county social service agencies See if your state or county is offering immediate emergency rent relief or can refer you to an organization that does. Start at to see what may be available.
  • 211 Check or dial 2-1-1 to reach a resource that will direct you to rental assistance programs that may be in your area.
  • Salvation Army In many areas, the Salvation Army offers one-time rent assistance. Rent assistance is typically limited to people earning less than 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. Contact your local chapter for details and to check whether you qualify.
  • Catholic Charities Some Catholic Charities branches are offering emergency assistance grants that you can use to help pay rent. Visit the charitys website to find out more.
  • Modest Needs This national charity helps people facing short-term financial needs. Its currently accepting applications to help people whove had their hours reduced or been laid off because of the coronavirus. You can apply for help with Modest Needs online.

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‘how Much Money Could I Get’

There isnt any cap on how much rent aid an individual can qualify for under the states program. And the state says it will keep accepting applications and sending out checks until the pool of money runs out.

Rules vary for programs run by local jurisdictions, including the city of Oakland which has a cap of $15,000 of assistance per tenant.

In some cases, like if a landlord refuses to accept the funds, the tenant could use the money to cover future rent payments, but only after past due rent has been paid.

This story includes reporting from KQED’s Erin Baldassari and CalMatters Manuela Tobias.

A version of this story was first published on March 15.

How To Get Help Paying Rent

If you need help paying your rent, contact your state housing finance agency or your local public housing agency office. You may qualify for government programs to get help with your rent payments.

  • If you need immediate, emergency assistance

  • To find out what other help may be available for you locally

Even if you don’t qualify for rental assistance through these agencies, they may be able to refer you to a community organization that can help. You may also search for and contact community or nonprofit organizations in your area. They may help you directly or offer you referral information.

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