SALT LAKE CITY — Utah marked a milestone of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program with the distribution of $100 million in assistance to help renters stay in their homes since March 2021.
According to a press release the Utah Department of Workforce Services, the state received $215 million in federal funds for the program, as a partnership of five entities: the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Salt Lake City and Salt Lake, Davis and Utah counties; however, people in any city or county in the state can apply. Including administrative costs, the state has spent more than 50% of its allocated funds.
The program in Utah has paid more than 21,000 applications. Most applications cover more than one month of rent and other costs.
“We are pleased that we have been able to help so many Utahns, but of equal importance is that there is still assistance available,” Christina Oliver, director of the Housing and Community Development Division of Workforce Services, said in the press release. “We encourage anyone who is having trouble paying their rent to visit the website, learn more about eligibility and apply.”
Assistance is available for renters who have a household income of 80% or below of area median income and have been directly or indirectly financially impacted by the pandemic. Examples of such impacts could be reduced hours or job loss, medical impacts or caring for a family member.
Rental assistance can cover current, past and three months of prospective rent, eligible fees, security deposit, utilities, internet and home energy costs. Landlords can also apply on behalf of their tenants.
“Emergency Rental Assistance has been an important program over the past year to help renters stay in their homes during a difficult time,” said Tara Rollins, executive director of the Utah Housing Coalition. “Both on the Wasatch Front and in rural Utah, I’ve watched how hard government and community partners are working to assist those in need, and I encourage anyone who is having trouble paying rent to apply.”
Each of the five partner entities received funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, but at the outset of the program, they determined to move forward as a single partnership to eliminate any potential confusion from those who need assistance. Regardless of whether the funds technically come from a city, county or the state, the experience for the applicant is the same.
More information and the application can be found at online.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.