CORONAVIRUS UTAH

$215 Million In Rental Assistance Available For Struggling Utahns

Mar 15, 2021, 6:30 PM | Updated: 9:14 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Starting Monday, Utahns who struggled to pay their rent or utilities because of the COVID-19 pandemic can request assistance through the state’s revamped emergency rental assistance program, which contains $215 million in federal funds.

“For families facing economic uncertainty, there’s nothing more important than knowing that they can remain in their home,” said a prepared statement from Casey Cameron, executive director of the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

Unlike past rental assistance programs during the pandemic, Utah renters from anywhere in the state can now apply through a single website: rentrelief.utah.gov. Those without internet access can call 211 for application assistance.

Renters can apply for three months of assistance at a time. The program will pay up to $2,000 of expenses every month, subject to available funds. The money can be used for current and past-due rent, fees, security deposit, utilities and internet.

With the tenant’s permission, a landlord can apply for the program on behalf of their tenant.

“We encourage renters to coordinate with their landlords to work out a plan for payment, which may include Emergency Rental Assistance,” Cameron’s statement went on to say. “Communication is key.”

According to the DWS, households eligible for the program must have:

  • Combined household income at or below 80% of area median income 
  • Someone in the household has qualified for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19
  • Household is experiencing housing instability (for example, received a past-due utility or rent notice or eviction notice, or living in unsafe or unhealthy living conditions) due to COVID-19
  • The applicant resides in the household and their name is on the lease.

Some applications could be prioritized and processed more quickly if the renter has been unemployed for at least 90 days or are at or below 50% of their area’s median income.

“The rental assistance is going to help bridge the gap while we recover as individuals, as families, and as communities,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said about the program.

For more information or to apply, visit: rentrelief.utah.gov.

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$215 Million In Rental Assistance Available For Struggling Utahns