Newark Renters Can Apply for Financial Assistance Through This County Program

NEWARK, NJ — Renters and landlords in Newark financially burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to apply for aid through Essex County's Emergency Rental Assistance program, starting Thursday. 

Nearly $15 million is available to be awarded to applicants who need help paying rent or utility bills. An online portal will open on Thursday here to apply. Awards will be granted on a first come, first served basis, according to county officials. 

“Our Emergency Rental Assistance Program will help eligible residents and families catch up on their rent or utility arrears or pay their rent and/or utility bills prospectively," Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said. "This ultimately will prevent individuals and families from getting evicted from their housing and becoming homeless."

This is the latest public assistance program initiated by the county to help residents and small businesses during the pandemic. Last year, county officials offered two programs that helped small businesses pay for expenses, payroll and leases, a rental assistance program for individuals and families and a mortgage assistance program for homeowners.

Those eligible to apply for the rental assistance program include individuals or families impacted by the pandemic through unemployment, experienced a decrease in household income or confronted with some other financial hardship.

While tenants and landlords are eligible to apply, landlords would be applying on behalf of their tenants, officials said. To be eligible, the income of applicants must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Applicants will be asked to include identification for the head of household, income information for all those in the household who are older than 18, a copy of the lease, information about the landlord, and information about the rent and utility payments that are in areas (unpaid).

Residents of Section 8 or public housing may be eligible to receive assistance for costs not covered by federal assistance and for the tenant’s portion of the rent or utility bills, officials said. 

The Essex County Emergency Rental Assistance Program is being funded by the U.S. Department of Treasury as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-05-13 02:13:16 -0700