Can’t Pay Rent? Here’s Where to Find Help

Emergency rental assistance remains available after eviction ban ends

Young woman doing home finances in the evening

Marko Geber/Getty Images

The federal eviction moratorium may be gone, but if you haven’t been able to pay rent or utilities during the pandemic and are facing eviction, you’re likely to be eligible for a personal government bailout. Yes, really.

Key Takeaways

  • Even though the federal eviction ban is history, emergency rental assistance is available to cover rent and utilities for those facing eviction.
  • To help figure out where and how to apply for the help, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Low Income Housing Coalition have created special websites.
  • Goldman Sachs says that under current policies, about 750,000 people are likely to be evicted by year’s end.

When the Supreme Court struck down the federal eviction moratorium last week, a major lifeline for financially struggling renters remained intact: the first-of-its-kind, $47 billion federal rental relief program, which pays utility bills and up to 18 months of rent for tenants who have been unable to pay because of the pandemic’s financial impacts.

Since its inception in December, the program has been plagued by red tape and slow to get off the ground, though officials have been trying to make it easier for hard-hit renters and landlords to claim money they’re eligible for. Several resources are available to help people figure out where, and how, to apply.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created a website where users can enter their address and get the contact information for the local program that manages the aid where they live.

Another website, run by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a nonprofit group, gives detailed on information on 493 state and local agencies that distribute the aid, including which agencies allow renters to simply state that they’ve been financially hurt by the pandemic and that they’ve lost income, or that they meet other eligibility requirements. In some states agencies require applicants to show documents, such as leases and pay stubs, to prove that they meet the requirements.

Nationwide, about 750,000 people will likely be evicted by the end of the year under current policies, researchers at Goldman Sachs estimated in a report Sunday.

With evictions allowed to resume in an estimated 90% of the country by October, the rental assistance program is a major remaining protection for renters now that the federal moratorium is gone, and many of the remaining state eviction bans are set to expire by September, the Goldman researchers said.

If rental assistance distribution continues at its current pace, 1 million to 2 million households will still be delinquent on their rent and go without assistance by the time the last state eviction moratoriums expire, according to Goldman estimates. 

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  1. Treasury Department. “Looking for Rental Assistance? FAQs.”

  2. Treasury Department. “Emergency Rental Assistance Program: Keeping Families in Their Homes.”

  3. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “CFPB Releases Online Tool to Help Renters and Landlords Access Federal Assistance.”

  4. National Low Income Housing Coalition. “Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Dashboard.”

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