In the last two stimulus bills, $46 billion in rent relief dollars was made available to the public, but only 20% was distributed.
This means that $37 billion in rental assistance could still go to people’s wallets.
Americans struggled with income loss and increased expenses in the course of the pandemic which put many people in a position where they couldn’t pay their rent.
There was an eviction ban in place that barred landlords from having tenants removed from their homes due to an inability to pay. The ban expired over the summer but many Americans remain at risk of losing their homes.
To qualify, you must attest to the fact that you or a member of your household lost income during the pandemic, incurred added expenses, or lost a job.
You must also prove you’re at risk of becoming homeless. Since the aforementioned eviction ban is no longer in place, a past due notice from your landlord should suffice for that purpose.
Meanwhile, your income cannot exceed 80% of your area’s median income to qualify for rent relief funds. But generally, the size of your household is taken into account when setting those thresholds — meaning, the income limits for a two-person household are lower than the income limits for a five-person household.
If you qualify for aid, you could receive up to 18 months’ worth of rent. Some state programs have a cap on the total amount of aid you can receive, though.
If you haven’t yet applied for rent relief but meet the qualifications, it pays to apply as soon as you can.
In some cases, your landlord may be willing to file the application on your behalf, which is allowed.
Even if you live in a state with extended tenant protections, at some point, landlords will be allowed to move forward with evictions. The sooner you set yourself up for relief, the better.
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