The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s federal eviction moratorium is set to expire on June 30, leaving millions of renters across the U.S. vulnerable to being thrown out of their living spaces.
But some tenants, however, may be eligible for a renters coronavirus stimulus payment.
Back in December, Congress approved $25 billion for rent relief as part of the second pandemic overhaul, and earlier this year, the White House authorized an additional $21.6 billion from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan for the same provision.
To qualify for the rental assistance, at least one member of the household must be eligible for unemployment insurance or the household must prove that they are financially unable to keep up with monthly rent payments due to the impact of the economic crisis.
If tenants can also show that they are at risk of becoming homeless, they may be eligible for the additional pandemic relief. Household income must be at or less than eighty percent of the area’s average income.
The rent relief can be used to pay late fees, relocation costs, rental fees, and late rental payments.
While the three rounds of stimulus payments were automatically distributed to those that qualified, renters must apply for the rent assistance.
If tenants meet the eligibility requirements, they must refer to the state or local level housing agencies to formally apply for the aid. The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s website outlines which local or state housing authorities that tenants may need to apply to.
Millions of renters are still experiencing financial hardship, even with the relief that’s already been sent out. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimated last month that roughly 20 percent of American households who rent their homes are behind on rent payments. Back in December, the Urban Institute found that 10 million tenants owed nearly $57 billion for rent costs and late fees.
And although the eviction moratorium will expire at the end of the month, several states have pledged to bar evictions beyond that date, including New York, New Jersey, and Vermont.
“We’re going to see what we’ve been managing to stave off: this wave of evictions that is just going to crush some of these areas,” John Pollock, coordinator of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, told CNBC.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. N