The Middlesex County Emergency Rental Assistance Scheme opens the online application portal today, Monday 3rd May

The Middlesex County Emergency Rental Assistance Scheme opens the online application portal today, Monday 3rd May

Tenants in financial difficulty due to COVID-19 can request

financial assistance for rent and utilities

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ – The Middlesex County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (MCERAP) will begin accepting applications for financial assistance from tenant households who are behind with rent and/or utility payments due to the pandemic of COVID-19. Tenant households in need of assistance can submit their application and required documents through the MCERAP online application portal from today, Monday, May 3, 2021. More information and a link to the application portal can be found here: middlesexcountynj.gov/rentalassistance.

MCERAP is funded by a $24.6 million grant from the federal government. Funding will be distributed on a priority basis, directly to property owners and utility companies. No assistance can be provided for rent and/or utility arrears before March 2020.

“Many families and individuals are struggling financially due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, including those right here in Middlesex County,” said Director of County Commissioner Ronald G. Rios. “The pandemic has highlighted how important it is to pull together as a community in times of crisis. Sometimes it means offering help and sometimes it means accepting help. I encourage tenant households who are behind on rent or utilities due to the pandemic, and who meet the eligibility criteria, to apply for this program today.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crisis have been devastating for so many residents of Middlesex County,” said County Commissioner Claribel A. Azcona-Barber. “The Middlesex County Emergency Rental Assistance Program will help ensure that eligible tenant households have a roof over their heads and continued access to essential public services during these difficult times. The county has worked hard to create this program to help county residents, and we urge all eligible residents to apply for financial assistance today. »

ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES

Households eligible for financial assistance under the MCERAP are tenant households where at least one individual meets the following criteria:

  • Is eligible for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19
  • Demonstrates risk of homelessness or housing instability, primarily documented by an unpaid rent balance and/or eviction record
  • Has a household income equal to or less than 80% of the median income of the region* (Please note: Eligible households that include someone who has been unemployed for the 90 days prior to requesting assistance, and households with income at or below 50% of the area median, will be given priority for support.)

*Area median income guidelines are available on the county’s website at middlesexcountynj.gov/rentalassistance.

ASK FOR HELP

Applications for MCERAP financial assistance may be submitted by an adult member of an eligible household or by a landlord on behalf of that eligible household. All required information and documentation must be submitted before an application is considered for funding. Required documents may include a copy of the rental agreement, tax returns, payslips, etc.

Housing assistance provided on behalf of an eligible household shall not duplicate any other federally funded housing assistance provided to that household. For households in voucher-subsidized units like Section 8, or in public housing, assistance may be available for the tenant’s portion of the rent or to pay an outstanding utility balance.

Housing assistance can be provided on behalf of people who owned rental accommodation before the pandemic began in March 2020, who lost the rental accommodation due to the pandemic, and signed a lease for new rental accommodation but who have difficulty paying the first months of the new lease.

If an eligible household is in arrears with rent payments, also known as arrears, assistance must be provided to reduce or pay off the rent arrears before that household can be eligible for assistance with future rent payments. rent.

Individuals seeking additional information on MCERAP and those wishing to apply for financial assistance should visit middlesexcountynj.gov/rentalassistance.

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AABOUT MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ

Middlesex County is home to numerous Fortune 500 companies, three universities, 18 park systems, and world-class healthcare and research facilities, making it one of the fastest growing regions in the country and a leader in leader in technology, transportation, the arts and food innovation. As one of the most diverse populations in the country, Middlesex County has over 832,000 residents in 25 municipalities and employs nearly 40,000 people. Ranked #1 in the state for best schools, the county offers an award-winning vocational school system, county college, and workforce development creating a unique ecosystem in which opportunities abound. Conveniently located between New York and Philadelphia, Middlesex County has been a premier destination for businesses and residents to live, work and play – and has been since the 17th century. For more information, visit middlesexcountynj.gov and find us on Facebook and instagram.

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