Need housing and rental relief? Here’s how to get started

Need housing and rental relief? Here’s how to get started
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After the federal eviction moratorium expired, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an extension until October 3 for high Covid-19 transmission areas. The Biden administration says those areas cover 90 percent of the country’s renters.

According to a recent survey by the US Census Bureau just before the extension was announced, 7.4 million Americans reported being behind on their rent. About half of them worried they would face eviction within the next two months. Thanks to the extension, most Americans facing eviction now have an eight-week reprieve, buying time for federal aid to kick in. But not every distressed renter will get that federal aid, and it’s not clear what happens after October 3.

If you are a struggling renter in need of relief, here is how you can advocate for yourself and begin the process to get aid:

Rental Assistance

  • US Department of Treasury and the National Low-income Housing Coalition provide a search tool to browse emergency relief options by state, US territory, or Tribally Designated Housing Entity.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is where renters facing hardship can learn whether they are eligible for aid and how to apply for it. The bureau also lists tips on negotiating with landlords to set up payment plans or waive late fees.
  • HUD provides information on how to begin the search for affordable housing and how to contact a housing counseling agency in one’s area. The site also shares ways landlords can list properties to Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) recipients.

Emergency Housing

  • HUD Exchange provides a national list of providers that specialize in housing and resources for those facing homelessness.

Direct Relief Services

  • United Way offers direct support through its 211 website and by calling its 2-1-1 nonemergency hotline which connects individuals to essential items like food, utility assistance, and mental health care in their area.

Legal Aid

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