Following 10 months of recorded increase in job losses and business shutdowns, President Joe Biden has called on Congress to allocate another $30 billion in housing aid, and an executive order to extend the national ban on evictions through March. The $25 billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program is designed to help people pay rent and utilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An estimated 14 million Americans are behind on their rent as a result of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Renters can now get help with up to 12 months of back rent and utility bills, and potentially another three months of support if there’s still money available. In some cases, you can get funds to cover future rent payments, but only if there’s a plan to address any debts first.
Although It’s not clear how many people will benefit from the rental aid, housing experts have estimated about 8 million households could get help from the first tranche. But even with that federal aid, evictions are expected to rise. To qualify for the assistance, at least one member of your household has to have lost income or incurred significant expenses due to the pandemic, or be eligible for unemployment benefits. You will also need to demonstrate a risk of homelessness show in writing that you meet these requirements, such as with a past due rent or utility notice.
In addition, your income level for 2020 can’t exceed 80% of your area’s median income, though states have been directed to prioritize applicants who fall at 50% or lower, as well as those who’ve been out of work for 90 days or more.
The Treasury program excludes renters who were having trouble paying rent prior to the pandemic.