Federal rent assistance still available
By The Star Staff
Seniors, college students, individuals and families facing problems paying their monthly rent or utilities can still benefit from the Housing Department’s Rent Assistance Program after the federal government extended the aid.
The program, which has an allocation of $325 million, helps qualified applicants pay their next three months of rent and provides up to 15 months in retroactive payment starting in April 2020.
“It is important for people to remember that they do not have to be unemployed or in arrears to benefit from the program. Thousands of people have already applied and benefited, but there are still funds to be used,” Public Housing Administrator Alejandro Salgado Colón said. “We make a call to children or relatives of older adults to guide them and inform them of the availability of this help.”
The assistance also allows renters to make reasonable payments for late fees during the months eligible for late rent.
To be eligible, tenants must have income below 80% of the area median income as established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and live in a rental unit, among other requirements.
The administrator noted that “this program provides an alternative to tenants who have been affected in some way as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and who live in units whose owners could initiate an eviction process.”
“Our call is for you to call and apply for the Rental Assistance Program, as it is a relief to people in need,” Salgado Colón said.