Today MaineHousing announced it is reopening its COVID-19 Rental Relief Program for October and November for renters who cannot afford to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Depending on the availability of funding, the program may also include December rent.
This program expands upon MaineHousing’s previous rent relief programs by allowing both previous and new applicants to apply for a maximum of $1,000 per month toward their rent payments.
“When we received additional funds allocated by Governor Mills in September, our projections showed that we would run out of money after issuing payments to help cover September rent,” said Daniel Brennan, director of MaineHousing. “We are glad that we’re able to extend help to more Mainers in need. We are grateful to Governor Mills for her leadership and support as so many Mainers struggle to make ends meet.”
Renters may apply for October and November beginning on November 2 by visiting mainehousing.org/covidrent. If funding remains available, applications for December rent will be accepted beginning on November 23, 2020. Applications are on a first-come, first-served basis and are managed by Maine’s Community Action Agencies.
Following a successful application, the applicant’s local Community Action Agency pays the landlord directly. Landlords agree to postpone the balance of the payment, not forgive it, when they agree to participate. They also agree not to evict for non-payment of rent for the month(s) for which the funds are applied.
“We want to be sure people know that even if they applied and received funds during other phases of this program, they can reapply now if they still need help paying their rent,” Brennan continued.
Additional eligibility requirements and information can be found at mainehousing.org/covidrent.
Since its creation in April, the COVID-19 Rental Relief Program has supported an estimated 14,000 renter households across Maine.