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The rollout of the US $ 45 billion federal rental assistance allotted by Congress has been slow and rocky, but more and more families are getting relief.
Around 290,000 households received aid in June, up from 160,000 in May and 100,000 in April, according to new figures from the US Treasury Department on Wednesday.
However, according to a recent analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, more than 11 million Americans, or 16% of US renters, say they failed to collect their home payments.
And with the national eviction ban expiring on July 31, proponents fear that many renters may not get the relief in time to stay in their homes.
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According to government figures, only around $ 3 billion had reached the people by the end of June.
“Despite the improvements, rent emergency aid has only reached a small fraction of families who report they are behind on rent and are at high risk of eviction when the moratorium expires next week,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
It is recommended that tenants who have problems apply for assistance as soon as possible.
Here’s what you need to know about accessing Help.
How do I apply?
In order to be eligible for the subsidy, at least one member of your household must be entitled to unemployment benefit or provide written confirmation that they have suffered a loss of income or significant expenses as a result of the pandemic. You will also need to demonstrate a risk of homelessness, which may include an overdue rent or a notice from a utility.
Additionally, despite the fact that states have been instructed to prioritize applicants who fall to 50% or less, and those who have been unemployed for 90 days or more, your 2020 income level cannot exceed 80% of your region’s median income.
Some state and local programs have additional priorities and that is what you should look for.
For example, a fund in California aims to help Native American households. Another in Oklahoma sends the money to those over the age of 62 first.
How much could i get
You can receive support for up to 18 months, including a mix of repayments and future rent payments.
If you have already been approved for rent but are still in arrears, you can usually apply again as long as you apply for relief for a different period. The money usually goes to your landlord unless they refuse (more on this below).
I am having trouble getting help. Why?
At the beginning you are not alone.
Housing advocates point out a number of issues with introducing the assistance, particularly related to some tedious application process.
Andrew Aurand, vice president of research for the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said he saw an application that was 45 pages long. Another required tenants to document their income for the past six months.
The emergency aid for rent only reached a small fraction of the families who state that they are in arrears with the rent and have a high risk of eviction after the moratorium has expired …
President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition
“Officials are more concerned about scammers getting this money than the people who really need it,” said Dan Rose, assistant professor of sociology at Winston-Salem State University and organizer of Housing Justice Now.
If you are unable to meet a documentation requirement for a program application or are being rejected by a particular fund, find other rental support resources in your area, experts say.
It may also be worth contacting the organization and explaining why you cannot find a particular form. The latest Treasury Department guidelines encourage programs to take people at their word.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if a clerk could work with the tenant,” said Aurand.
Another problem is that some landlords refuse to take the money from the programs because they do not want to agree to the terms, which may include a ban on eviction of the tenant or an increase in rent for a specific window of time.
Encounter this problem?
Experts recommend that you ask the program if you can get the funds directly. Some programs must offer this option now if they can’t get your landlord’s collaboration, Aurand said.
I’m worried about the eviction. What should I do?
In addition to applying for rent allowance, make yourself familiar with your rights as soon as possible. These will vary depending on the state.
Most states have since lifted their eviction bans, but some are still in effect. This policy has nothing to do with the federal moratorium.
For example, New York has extended its eviction moratorium to September for tenants who have suffered a Covid-related setback or for whom moving could pose a health risk. To qualify, tenants must submit a hardship form to their landlord.
Applying for rental allowance can help you stay in your home longer.
Minnesota lawmakers have reached an agreement prohibiting eviction from tenants who are in the process of filing an application for relief. This protection is valid until June 2022.
Nevada renters also cannot be forced out of their homes if their rental grant application is pending or their landlord refuses to accept the grant.
If your landlord has moved to quit you, try to find a lawyer. At Lawhelp.org, you can find inexpensive or free legal assistance with an eviction in your state.
In some locations, including Washington, Maryland, and Connecticut, tenants who are evicted are entitled to legal assistance.
Are you threatened with eviction? If you’d like to share your story for an upcoming article, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org