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If you’re struggling to pay rent, use this tool to find help

Photo Credit: Getty.
If you’re struggling to pay rent, use this tool to find help
By AFSCME Staff ·

For millions of renters across the country, the only thing that has kept a roof over their heads during the pandemic is the federal eviction moratorium that ends this week.

But help is available. As part of the American Rescue Plan – a historic law made possible in part by AFSCME members – the federal government is providing renters and landlords $46 billion through its Emergency Rental Assistance program.

If you’re struggling to pay rent, utilities or other housing costs – or if you’re a landlord with a tenant in this situation – you may apply for emergency rental assistance through your local program. These programs are run locally, and right now emergency rental assistance is available across the country.  

Finding your local program is easy. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just released this tool to help renters and landlords find emergency rental assistance in their state.

To be eligible, a renter must have experienced financial hardship such as lost income; their household income must be below a certain amount; and at least one member of their household must be at risk of becoming homeless.

The pandemic has triggered an acute housing crisis. Total nationwide rent debt is more than $20 billion, according to some estimates, with nearly 6 million renters, or 14%, in arrears.

That’s why the rental assistance program is so important. And AFSCME members fought hard to make this federal assistance a reality, to pass the American Rescue Plan and provide relief to struggling renters and their landlords.

The end of the eviction moratorium doesn’t mean you’re on your own. Use this tool to find your local emergency rental assistance program.

While the rental assistance program and the American Rescue Plan are good beginnings, AFSCME members need Congress to pass a bold, broad plan that invests in our physical infrastructure – roads, bridges, water systems, schools, housing and transit – and in the people who make America happen. That means investments in home care, child care, paid leave, and other programs to help get working families back on their feet.

President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan will do just that.

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