Rental assistance coming for families affected by virus

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Emergency rental assistance is available to families with limited financial resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive April 13 adding to a previous order temporarily suspending some evictions, foreclosures and service disconnections.

“COVID-19 is taking a significant economic toll on families, businesses and our entire state, and finding ways to mitigate those hardships is one of my top priorities,” Bullock said. “For families that can’t make their housing payment right now because they’ve lost income due to COVID-19, this Directive will help prevent a months-long rent backlog from coming due all at once.”

The new order creates a program that provides rental assistance to households facing substantial financial hardship from the closures related to the virus. It includes relief funds specifically for households with children eligible for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The Department of Commerce will announce details on eligibility and the application process before April 17.

State officials are exploring additional funding options for families not TANF-eligible, including federal CARES Act relief money. The directive is effective through April 24.