In a swift move to get started on his latest plans to fight the pandemic, President Joe Biden has signed an executive order to extend eviction protections until March 31 on his very first day as president.
The move was indeed a relief for many who have been drowning in financial troubles. With this new executive order, many of those living in rentals were saved from facing possible eviction because of being behind on their rent. In another request, Congress was also instructed by President Biden to reserve $30 billion for tenants who had difficulty with rent in the previous month.
Eviction protection was also enforced through last March’s CARES Act, helping up to 107 million people who live in rentals, which is around one-third of the US population. Even with the gesture to extend eviction protections under the previous CARES Act until the end of January, the government has decided to build a $25 billion fund for rental assistance. Below you will find some instructions on how to apply.
Applying for Rent Assistance 2021
With the wheels of economic recovery beginning to turn, it may be a good idea for you to know a number of fundamental concepts that will help you apply for the new rent assistance package. With $25 billion being distributed to state governments, you may be able to get some relief on your rent very soon (especially if you’ve missed paying a couple of months). You will have to apply for rent assistance through your state government, which has its own individual requirements, but here are some of the rules that they have in common that you need to keep in mind when applying:
Below you will find a general overview of the eligibility requirements that many states will share.
- Financial Status: You either have to be unemployed and/or eligible for unemployment benefits or it has to be evident that you faced severe financial hardship due to the pandemic. It will be required that you provide documents as evidence for your case.
- Housing Instability: You have to have an unstable housing situation in order to qualify. This means that it has to be evident that you are at risk of being evicted and you would also need to present evidence to prove it. You can use a rent past due notice or an eviction letter.
- Difficulties with Utility Expenses: If you can prove with documents that you have experienced financial difficulties paying your utility bills due to COVID-19, you may possibly get some relief. (Note: Again, it’s important for you to know that it must be evident that your financial troubles are related to the pandemic.) Please take note that this is not necessarily a requirement of the program, but it can help you get some assistance. Unpaid utility bills and past due notices would be needed.
Other Key Concepts
- Making Your Case Stronger: It is generally recommended that you try to make your financial need as evident as possible with documents of your bills and expenses. It has also been said that this new fund may be extended to those who are living in potentially hazardous conditions due to the pandemic. Documentation to make all of this evident is of utmost importance in these cases. It’s also important for you to understand that this new recent package is not a payment deferral. The government is actually going to pay either your rent or the utility bills directly to the landlord or to those responsible for collecting the relevant bills if it is evident that you are clearly not able to pay.
- Learn your state requirements: As this is a fund that is being given to you by the state governments, it is important that you keep yourself well-informed about your state’s requirements and application procedures.