How to Apply for Federal Rental Assistance Program

Disclaimer: this information is up to date as of the publishing of this article. Please check if there are any updates.

A couple of things came along when the new stimulus was signed in December, 2020. One of those was the extension of the Federal Eviction Moratorium. The other is a $25 billion fund destined strictly for rental assistance purposes for renters.

How to Apply for Federal Rental Assistance Program

The main purpose of the money is to help the over 10 million Americans on the verge of getting evicted due to nonpayment of rent stay in their homes while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the United States. Some advocates say that an estimated $70 billion dollars are needed to cover the real costs of overdue rent.

Since May 2020, Democrats have been asking for a $100 billion relief fund for housing assistance. Now that the congress is under their control, this may not be so far fetched to becoming a reality.

Here’s what you need to know about the current $25 billion dollar fund.

Who is eligible?

Tenants are eligible to receive funds to pay overdue rent if and when:

  • At least one member of their household is eligible for unemployment benefits
  • OR claim they have lost their income or accrued big expenses due to COVID-19 in writing.
  • AND provide proof that they are at risk of becoming homeless which can be proof of overdue rent or a utility bill.
  • AND tenant’s income cannot be over 80% of the rental property’s area average income for 2020.

Note: Tenants who have been out of work for over 90 days or who make 50% or less of the rental property’s area average income will have priority.

The funds will be available to all states by January 20, 2021.

Where can my tenant apply?

The Federal Rental Assistance program intends to distribute the funds to each state individually. Some states already have programs setup to take applications and distribute the funds to the tenants. California, for example, has local programs setup to apply for the funds.

The link provided is the most complete and comprehensive list of information on how to apply to receive funds from the rental assistance program. You can sort by state and city, county or locality. It also provides website links, contact and eligibility information.

Additional important takeaways from the $25 billion dollar fund

  • A landlord can apply directly for the funds with the tenant’s application, signature and permission.
  • Tenants can obtain up to 12 months of overdue rent and utility bills. If the budget allows, they can apply for an additional 3 months of assistance.
  • The funds are paid to your landlord or utility company directly.

If you have any additional questions on how the Rental Assistance Fund works, please contact us for a free consultation. 1-800-686-8686 or