Relief for Renters

Last week, the Supreme Court ended the CDC’s eviction moratorium, and landlords may now evict residential tenants for nonpayment of rent.

The moratorium was intended to protect tenants while state and local governments distributed $46.5 billion in federal housing aid. Even though the moratorium is over, rental assistance is still available to tenants affected by the pandemic. The Covid Emergency Rental Assistance program (CERA) provides funding to pay for past-due rent, utilities, and internet. Tenants who have household incomes less than 80% of the Area Median Income are eligible for funding if they experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19 and received a past due rent or utility notice.

Households with incomes less than 50% of the Area Median Income may receive up to 12 months of rental assistance. Those with incomes up to 80% of the Area Median Income may receive up to ten months of rental assistance. Up to three months of assistance may be used to pay future rent, and a $300 internet stipend is also available.

The CERA application can be found online. Both the landlord and the tenant must apply. In addition to documents supplied by the tenant, landlords must provide a copy of the lease, a ledger of tenant’s 2020 and 2021 payments, and verification of any court costs that have been added to the past due amount.