In the event that they are unable to pay their rent, Americans may be eligible for stimulus funds worth up to $10,000 each, according to The Sun. As part of the emergency coronavirus response, renters may qualify for assistance with their housing costs for up to 18 months.
Emergency Rental Program
Amidst a recovery from the pandemic’s devastation, millions of Americans fear eviction and the loss of basic housing security, even as the economy continues to recover. According to the US Department of the Treasury, an affordable housing crisis that predated the pandemic has been exacerbated by COVID-19, which in turn has further compounded deep disparities that threaten the strength of an economic recovery that must work for all.
Back in December of the year 2020, a stimulus package included a $25 billion fund for renters who are struggling to make ends meet because of the health and economic crises, and evictions were extended through January of 2021. It helped many of the 14 million Americans behind on their rent stay in their homes during the cold months of the year and while the flu pandemic was raging.
Housing advocates, however, argue that more funds are needed. Rental arrears in the United States may be closer to $70 billion after 10 months of record job losses and business closures, according to one estimate, as per CNBC.
Who Are Eligible?
Funding is made available to households unable to pay their rent or utility bills through the Emergency Rental Assistance program. One program, ERA1, provides up to $25 billion under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021; the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was enacted on March 11, 2020, provides up to $21.55 billion.
Rental assistance is only available to those who have been unable to pay their rent due to financial hardship during the pandemic. Local income requirements, which vary from state to state, also apply. A household income of at least 80 percent of the local area’s median income is generally required to qualify for financial aid.
Local programs may cover utility bills, such as electricity, gas, and trash removal, in addition to internet service, moving costs, and more. Up to 18 months of rent assistance, including past-due payments, is available to those who qualify under a federal program. However, not all states provide help for 18 months.