Rental Forgiveness Programs: Know Your Options
Renters, landlords, and homeowners alike are struggling to keep their living arrangements and their property because of the pandemic. With so many renters in arrears due to loss of their jobs and livelihood, the government has passed legislation like the cares act tenant-based rental assistance to help people in these positions financially.
Unfortunately, although there are programs available to help with these ongoing needs, it is often difficult for both the renter and the landlords to find programs that one or both can qualify for. Therefore, it is essential for the both the landlord and the renter to look for and understand the program options that has been designed specifically for their needs.
With that being said, this article will cover some options that apply to situations that involve the following.
What is Rental Forgiveness?
First of all, everyone needs to know the definition of what rental forgiveness is, especially since this is the basic place to start the research. Due to the impact of pandemic and the jobless of millions of people filing for unemployment, people in large numbers have not been able to pay their rent. These problems are not only affecting the people who cannot pay their rent but also the landlords who are responsible for taking care of this type of housing. Therefore, one of the elements in some of the latest legislation like the care act rent assistance involves completely canceling this debt. For instance, in April 2020, about 31% of renters did not pay their rent.
The objective and goal of this type of program is to cancel the debt and eliminate the possibility of having to pay the accrued rent at a later date.
How Rent Forgiveness Programs Work
As mentioned before, with so many millions of renters not able to pay their rent, the government is establishing specific types of programs to provide the assistance that is needed. Based on the rules and guidelines outlined in the federal ERA Program, local government agencies are allowing individual renters to take advantage of assistance with their rent. For instance, for those who qualify, local programs are providing renters with up to 18 months of help with their rent. The amount that they calculate can include any overdue rent that is dated back to March 13, 2020.
These rent amount requirements, of course, are contingent up a number of factors. One factor in specific, is dependent on the money is available in the program that the renter is applying for. It is also important to note that all overdue rent amounts must go toward rent that each renter owes to their landlord first.
Cares act housing assistance program Eligibility Requirements and Application Process
Though the money for these types of rental assistance programs are approved by the Federal government, under the Cares Act housing assistance program, the administration of this money is actually overseen by each state. Therefore, the procedures for these applications may be vastly different from one state to another.
That said, for those of you who want to know more about how to apply and learn more about the eligibility requirements, you can find out more information online on your state’s governmental portal. For instance, Tennessee’s housing authoring is presently providing rental assistance to tenants on a statewide basis.
As a part of this program, the federal dollars that this state has received will help tenants who are eligible for this money to catch up on their rental payments. Here are some of the eligibility requirements tenants are required to meet before they can receive this assistance.
- Rental tenants loss a significant amount of their income during the pandemic
- Only makes 80% of their areas median income level
- Priority given to renters who have been unemployed for at least 90 days or longer
- (earnings presently less that 50% of that particular areas median income level
- Payments go directly to the landlord for over due rent
- Based on the situation, money can also go toward, utility payments and late fees
Rent forgiveness bill update
To accommodate the needs of millions of tenants, the government has stepped in with laws and regulations that protect renters from being evicted from their places of residence. Some of these protections have been put in place in the form of moratoriums. And, as these moratoriums are being extended, there has been more than one rent forgiveness bill update that has been published to the public.
Additionally, for those of you who want to know the latest news on the Cares Act housing assistance program, rent forbearance and cares act housing assistance program options, you should make sure that you are keeping up with the latest information that applies to you and your situation. Here’s some key dates that you will need to make note of.
Nationwide Federal Eviction Moratorium in place from March 2020 (Cares Act) through January 1, 2021
National Federal Eviction Moratorium Immediately Extended to January 31, 2021 by the CDC through March 31, 2021
Emergency Rent Relief Programs signed into law in early March 2021 under the American Rescue Bill provided $30 billion dollars more in funding (excluded added provisions for eviction moratoriums).
Additional moratoriums were announced by the CDC by the counties most impacted by COV-19.
Because there are other rent forgiveness and rent forbearance updates that you may or may not be aware of, it is very important that you keep up with everything that is going on. In specific, you need to keep up with new legislation and programs that apply to you and your family.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, virtually everyone’s life has been impacted in one way or another. From losing large numbers of jobs across the country to people struggling with paying their rent on time, the government has had to step in with rental forgiveness programs to assist people with paying their overdue rent. Based on the timing and the situation, many people are eligible to receive these financial distributions. However, before anyone can receive the payments, it is important that they understand how these options apply to their needs