COVID-19 Housing Assistance
COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program - SUSPENDED
Special Announcement (received on October 14, 2020): DHS is suspending applications for the new COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program as it reviews the substantial amount of applications received in the past few days. The program described below is not open at this time.
Guidelines for the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program, should it become available in the future are as follows:
New Jersey residents can apply for up to $25,000 to help pay housing costs if they have been unable, or will be unable, to make payments due to the ongoing pandemic.
To be eligible for the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program, you must:
- Be a New Jersey resident;
- Prove that you could not pay rent/mortgage due to the COVID-19; and
- Earn less than 450 percent of the federal poverty level.
Applications will be processed until funding is exhausted or no later than December 18, 2020, whichever happens sooner. See maximum income eligibility limits and apply here.
Small Landlord Emergency Grant Program Helps Landlords and Renters
The Small Landlord Emergency Grant (SLEG) Program is reopening and expanding to reimburse owners of three- to 30-unit rental properties for lost rent revenue due to COVID-19 between April and July 2020, as long as they agree to forgive outstanding back rent and late fees that their tenant accrued during this time. Applications will be accepted from September 28 at 12:00 pm EDT to October 13 at 4:00 pm EDT. Learn further details, all eligibility requirements and apply here.
County Rental Assistance Programs Funded by CARES Act
Passaic County - Temporary homeowners and renters emergency assistance is being offered to eligible Passaic County residents. Details here.
Tenants Know your Rights
There is an eviction moratorium until November 1, 2020 which prevents renters from being locked out of their home until after that time. While the Governor has the power to shorten or extend this protective measure, during the time that it is in effect, renters have rights. This flyer, created by the Community Health Law Project, offers a simple summary of what you can expect.
Landlord/Tenant Virtual Informational Conferences - Counties across our state are organizing informational meetings to educate tenants and landlords about their rights during the pandemic. As we receive details about these events, we will post them here.
Free Counseling Available to Homeowners and Renters
Governor Murphy and HMFA announced an expansion in the NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s Housing Counseling Initiative during the pandemic. Now free assistance is available from housing counselors to help homeowners going through foreclosure, which includes pre-foreclosure and rental assistance counseling. Even families that are receiving some sort of relief are expressing concern at their ability to make back payments on rent, mortgages, property taxes, etc. A housing counselor can help you understand what sort of relief is available for your situation and build an action plan to get you to the other side of this crisis with your best possible outcomes.
Seek help through this program by calling 1-800-NJ-HOUSE. They have partnered with multiple agencies in each county and are paying for the cost of the counseling session, so you don’t have to.
Help for Homeowners - Counselors will provide an analysis of the client’s financial situation; evaluation of the current value of the home that is subject to the mortgage; review of options such as lender in-house modifications that may include restructuring or refinancing strategies; and the approval of an action plan by all interested parties. In the case of foreclosure prevention, whether or not the homeowner is in foreclosure, the goal is to assist the homeowners in retaining their homes with an affordable mortgage, however this result cannot be guaranteed in all situations and some instances may require assisting with a soft transition.
Help for Renters - Counselors will provide an analysis of the client’s financial situation, and guide tenants through budget and credit repair, assist with fair housing issues, eviction diversion and transition, if necessary. Renters can also review the list of NJHMFA Properties Affected by Rent Increase Suspension to see if their property is affected by the recent rent increase freeze.