Coronavirus stimulus check for renters: Who is eligible and how to apply
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One major issue that many Americans faced during the coronavirus pandemic was paying their house rent. To address this, Congress came up with the federal eviction moratorium, but it is scheduled to expire later this month. This will be concerning to those who don’t yet have a job or a regular income. If you are among those, then there is no need to panic as you may be eligible for a renters coronavirus stimulus check.
Coronavirus stimulus check for renters
Home prices surged during the pandemic, and this came as a relief for some homeowners. However, there was no such relief for renters, except for the government aid. Along with the stimulus checks, renters also benefitted from the nationwide ban on evictions.
However, the federal eviction moratorium is set to expire on June 30, leaving millions of renters vulnerable to eviction. About 14% of renters are behind on their rent payment, claims a study from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. A separate study from The University of California says that 6 million renters owe almost $20 million in rent payment.
With no clear signs of a fourth stimulus check yet, it means that once the federal eviction moratorium expires, many renters will face the risk of eviction, especially those who are yet unemployed. If you are a renter and are worried about what to do next, there is some positive news for you.
You may qualify for some stimulus cash that could assist you in paying rent. This stimulus cash is part of the emergency rental aid that Congress approved in the last two stimulus packages. Congress approved $25 billion for rent relief in the coronavirus stimulus package passed in December, and $21.6 billion in the $1.9 trillion stimulus package approved in March.
Who is eligible and how to apply?
So, about $42 billion is available for distribution to those who are struggling to pay rent and utilities because of the pandemic. This money can also be used to pay past due rent, late fees, relocation expenses and rental fees. The U.S. Treasury is overseeing the distribution of these funds.
Unlike the stimulus checks, those who need this money will have to apply for it. To qualify for this assistance, at least one member of the household must be eligible for unemployment benefits. Or, you need to prove your inability to pay rent because of the pandemic. Those who can demonstrate the risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability may also qualify for the money. Also, your household income should be equal to or less than 80% of the area median income.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, then you need to contact your local or state housing authority or government agency, to apply for the assistance. You can visit the National Low Income Housing Coalition website to find the appropriate local housing body you need to apply to.