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Congress Allocates $45 Billion to Assist Renters

Renters Can Receive Help for 18 Months

Many renters have struggled during the pandemic and more than one in seven adults are still behind on their rent. Congress has allotted $45 billion in aid to help these renters catch up. Currently, there are more than 360 programs around the country giving renters up to 18 months of help. The aid includes a mix of money for past due rent and for future payments.

With the national eviction moratorium ending in June, it is important for people who have had difficulty paying their rent to act now. Millions of people could be at risk of eviction once the moratorium is lifted.

Requirements for Rent Assistance

To receive rent money through these programs, one member of a household must qualify for unemployment benefits, or show they lost income or incurred significant expenses because of the pandemic. Renters also have to demonstrate that they may be evicted without the aid.

Additionally, renters’ income level for 2020 must not be more than 80% of the median income of the neighborhood where they live. Some states are prioritizing renters whose income is 50% or less of the median average and those who have been unemployed for more than 90 days. The Federal Government has given states flexibility in how they manage these programs.

National Rent Moratorium Ending

The assistance is also open to renters who already received aid but are still behind on rent. The National Low Income Housing Coalition operates a website which has links to the state’s online applications. The process can vary depending on the individual programs. Some require renters to fill out lengthy applications while others are more streamlined. The processes in each state also vary depending on demand for assistance. In some states such as Alaska, demand is so high that people are on waitlists.

Rent assistance programs have been a lifeline for millions during the pandemic. With the moratorium on evictions about to end, now is the time for struggling renters to take advantage of this government aid.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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