Better World

Help for renters and landlords is finally here!

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Updated August 9, 2021.

The temporary halt to residential evictions during the pandemic helped countless families stay in their homes, even as they faced financial hardships, job loss, and other strains. The eviction moratorium was extended through July 31st, and then was extended once more for another 60 days (through October 3rd) due to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases related to the Delta variant. But that is expected to be the final extension—so what can renters (and landlords) who still need help do after that date?

If you’re a renter having trouble paying your rent, utilities, or other housing costs—or if you’re a landlord trying to stay afloat with tenants in this situation—help may be available. 

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, billions of dollars in federal rental assistance are reaching renters behind on housing costs, as well as landlords who have struggled during the pandemic. Programs that deliver this rental assistance to help renters stay housed during the pandemic are run locally, and as of July 28th emergency rental assistance is available across the country. 

For renters

Your local program could potentially help with 12 months or more of rent, including back rent that came due during the Covid-19 pandemic and (depending on your area’s program) future rent payments, up to three months at a time. Emergency Rental Assistance can also help with utilities, and certain other housing costs such as late fees, security deposits, or moving expenses. To qualify, you must:

  • have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • meet local income requirements, and 
  • be behind on your rent.

Your eligibility depends on your local program, so it is a good idea to check out your options if you’re concerned about your rental debts. Use the portal below to learn more and apply.

For landlords

Landlords who rely on rent payments to cover their own bills have struggled through this pandemic as well. You can apply for federal rental assistance programs based on your tenants’ financial eligibility, and potentially get direct payments to cover missed rent.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has a Rental Assistance Finder to find out what this means for you, get info on rental assistance in your area, apply for help, and discover what other options might be available. The CFPB’s site also includes resources to help renters and landlords understand other resources to help navigate various financial hardships related to the pandemic. If you still can’t find a program in your area, call 2-1-1 or your local housing authority for assistance.

Robyn is Editor-in-Chief at ParentsTogether and is co-author of several NYTimes bestselling anthologies. She lives in southern Michigan with her husband and five children.