Program helping people with rental assistance as eviction moratorium expiration date looms

Posted at 4:27 PM, Jun 10, 2021

The current eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of this month. The CDC says it's in discussions about the order and what comes next.

But low income housing advocates are worried the nearly $50 billion in aid Congress has approved for landlords and tenants may not reach them in time.

They believe the money will be enough, but some states are doing a better job distributing the money than others.

The latest Census Pulse Survey shows millions are still behind on their rent.

“That's about 15 million people who are at heightened risk of losing their homes when the eviction moratorium expires - that's almost twice as many families that lost their homes during the foreclosure crisis,” said Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Research from the group finds less than a quarter of the more than 380 agencies distributing the federal money allow direct payment to tenants.

“All programs can give those tenants the money directly if their landlord refuse to participate, and then the tenant can use those funds to pay the rent. And if the program is not using that, isn't doing that, they should really push them to do so. They should call their member of Congress or their local policy members as well," she went on.

Yentel says another issue is some state agencies requiring burdensome documentation.

Related: Help for renters if eviction moratorium is overturned: 'People are in crisis, experiencing trauma'

The coalition found only 160 agencies allow tenants to claim they're eligible when they're not able to provide documents like an apartment lease, or when they have trouble verifying "income" like Social Security payments.

If you need help getting rental assistance, calling 211 is a good place to start. You can also find the rental assistance programs in our area online here.

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