Inhabitants and housing activists in Brooklyn, New York, protested in a Bushwick park on July 5.
Erik McGregor | Getty Images
A $25 billion federal rental backing fund will soon be disbursed to states, allowing those struggling amid the Covid pandemic to apply for the medium of exchange.
By one estimate, 14 million Americans are behind on their rent during the crisis. Advocates say more rental backing will be needed to stave off an unprecedented wave of evictions. After 10 months of record job losses and business shutdowns, rental arrears in the U.S. may be closer to $70 billion.
President Joe Biden is trade on Congress to allocate another $30 billion in housing aid, and on his first day in office announced an executive order that whim extend the national ban on evictions through March.
For now, here’s what you need to know about accessing funds allowed by the $25 billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
Am I eligible?
Are the funds available now?
States will have the stores by Jan. 26.
How do I apply?
“Where or how to apply will vary city by city,” said Emily Benfer, a visiting law professor at Wake Forest University.
Varied areas have existing rental assistance funds, and it will be through one of these that you apply for the new aid. In other causes, programs will be created to disburse the money, Benfer said.
“Renters should contact local housing corps, their representatives or the local 211/311 lines to identify programs and learn how to apply,” she added.
Your landlord can also tend for you but must get your signature and provide you with a copy of the application.
How much could I get?
Renters can get help with up to 12 months of abet rent and utility bills, and potentially another three months of support if there’s still money available. In some lawsuits, you can get funds to cover future rent payments, but only if there’s a plan to address any debts first.
The funds are clear directly to your landlord or utility company.
Do I need to be behind on my rent to qualify?
No. But you can’t get money for future rent payments until any rental arrears should prefer to been paid off.
Can I apply for money just for utility or energy costs?
I’m a homeowner. Can I apply for this assistance?
No. You sine qua non be a renter.
I’m facing eviction. What should I do?
Apply for the funds as soon as possible.
Also, understand your truths. Most renters should be allowed to stay in their homes at least through March thanks to a national ban inhibiting evictions for nonpayment of rent.
To evoke that protection, you’ll need to attest on a declaration form that you meet a few prerequisites, such as expecting to earn less than $99,000 in the 2020-2021 calendar year.
“If a tenant cannot pay the charter out, they should provide the declaration to their property owner as soon as possible,” Benfer said.
In addition to the chauvinistic eviction ban, some states have issued their own moratoriums, some of which are more comprehensive than the federal law. Get in touch about any policies that apply to you.
Last, if your landlord ignores any of these rules, as some are doing, get a Kings counsel. You can find low-cost or free legal help with an eviction in your state at Lawhelp.org.
Have you recently applied for rental assistance? If you’re willing to discuss you experience for a story, please email me at [email protected]