SALT LAKE CITY – On Monday, a program created to assist Utahns with rent payments hit the $100 million milestone, and twice as much money is still available for Utah renters. Since March of this year, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program has provided assistance to help more than 21,000 renters who may be affected by the pandemic to stay in their homes and apartments. Overall, the state received $215 million in federal funds for the program, which is managed by Utah Department of Workforce Services, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Davis County and Utah County.
Most applications cover more than one month of rent and other costs.
“We encourage anyone who is having trouble paying their rent to visit the website, learn more about eligibility and apply,” said Christina Oliver, director of the Housing and Community Development Division of Workforce Services, in a statement.
According to an interactive map available at rentrelief.utah.gov (which identifies the amount of rental assistance given by zip code), as of December 5, 2021 a total of $1,744,939.38 has been distributed from over 500 applications in Cache County. Some zip codes in Cache County had no applications or fewer than 10, while the 84321 zip code of Logan City had 263 applications, accounting for $817,673.29 of rental assistance.
According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, assistance is available for renters who have a household income of 80% or below of area median income and have been directly or indirectly financially impacted by the pandemic. Examples of such impacts could be reduced hours or job loss, medical impacts, or caring for a family member. Rental assistance can cover current, past and three months of prospective rent, eligible fees, security deposit, utilities, internet and home energy costs. Landlords can also apply on behalf of their tenants.
“Emergency Rental Assistance has been an important program over the past year to help renters stay in their homes during a difficult time,” said Tara Rollins, executive director of the Utah Housing Coalition in a release. “Both on the Wasatch Front and in rural Utah, I’ve watched how hard government and community partners are working to assist those in need, and I encourage anyone who is having trouble paying rent to apply.”
Residents all over the state may apply for the assistance. Additional details, and application at rentrelief.utah.gov.