Is your family suffering financially following the COVID-19 pandemic or recent inflations? You may look for additional rental relief through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This federally funded program provides assistance throughout all territories, states, and U.S. tribes. 

Depending on where you live, this program may go by a different name. Funds are provided directly to local governments, which are then provided to qualifying applicants. Before you can receive help paying rent, you must meet the program’s eligibility requirements and submit an application.

Getting Help From an Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The pandemic has been a financial challenge for many, and you’re not alone if you’re struggling to pay rising housing costs. Fortunately, the federal government has provided almost $25 billion in funds for this program to help more Americans find affordable housing. 

You could qualify for emergency rental assistance if you or another person in your household meets the following eligibility requirements: 

  • You or another person in your household has received unemployment benefits or has been burdened with a severe financial hardship due to the pandemic; AND
  • Your household is at risk for housing instability or homelessness; AND
  • Your household income meets income guidelines, which are typically restricted at 80 percent of a local area’s median income. 

If you qualify for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, you could receive help for up to 12 months. However, some state and local governments have extended the assistance period by up to three months in some situations. 

Are you ready to submit your rent relief application? You’ll need to apply directly through your state, territory, or tribe agency. 

This program isn’t the only emergency aid that may be available to you either. Several programs that help with rent have emerged in the wake of the pandemic, including local charitable and non-profit programs. 

Some of these places that help with rent provide one-time housing assistance, while others provide long-term support.

Additionally, you could qualify for assistance with your utility bills, including through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides emergency and one-time assistance and weatherization benefits. 

You’ll need to submit a rent relief application directly to each of these programs in your local area. You may be able to learn more about your local programs through an online search.

Otherwise, you may contact your local government or Public Housing Agency to learn more about rental assistance opportunities that you may qualify for in your immediate area. 

Ready to learn more about Subsidized Housing and Public Housing? Continue on to the next slide for details.

Updated on 09/16/2022