COVID-19 Housing Assistance
Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance Program (ERMA)
The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA)'s Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance Program will provide up to $75,000 in assistance to cover mortgage payments, delinquent property taxes, and other housing cost delinquencies for eligible homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To be eligible, you must be a New Jersey homeowner with a demonstrated COVID-19-related financial hardship, own and occupy an eligible primary residence, were current on mortgage and property taxes as of January 2020, and have an income below 150% of their Area Median Income. You can apply through the application portal or contact the NJ ERMA team at 855-647-7700.
County and City Rental Assistance Programs May Help
Atlantic County - Atlantic County's Short-Term Emergency Mortgage Assistance Grant Program provides temporary mortgage assistance up to $10,000 for low- and moderate-income households in Atlantic County that were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process.
Bergen County - Bergen County has an Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program available for eligible residents who experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19. This program will pay up to 15 months of owed back rent and utilities starting from March 2020. Learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process.
Burlington County - The Emergency Mortgage and Utility Assistance program of Burlington County provides Burlington County homeowners with financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic with up to six months of mortgage and/or utility assistance. Learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process.
East Orange ONLY - COVID-19 Rental Assistance Grant Program Phase II provides up to $6,000 for up to six months of rent in arrears. Applications can be submitted at the following agencies: East Orange Community Development Center ((973) 266-5347 or firstname.lastname@example.org), or NJ SHARES (email@example.com). Applications will close on December 31, 2022.
Hudson County - Hudson County's Emergency Rental Assistance program provides back rent and utility assistance to households that have fallen behind as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants must be a resident of Hudson County with the exception of Jersey City residents. Learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process.
Mercer County - Mercer County's Emergency Rental Relief Program provides financial assistance with unpaid and future rent of utilities of households that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process.
Middlesex County - Middlesex County's Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides financial aid to renters that are behind on rent and/or utility payments as a result of the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process.
Morris County - Morris County's Rental Assistance program provides renters who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with financial assistance on past, current, and future rents. Learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process.
Passaic County - Funds are currently unavailable, but residents are still encouraged to ing residents to fill out an application. Passaic County’s Passaic Housing Security Initiative and Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides up to $20,000 for overdue rent for renters who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process. (Spanish information). Passaic County is also now offering a resource hub for social and human services to their residents.
Somerset County - The Emergency Rental Assistance Program application is currently closed, but residents can sign up to receive updates as more funding may be received in the future.
Union County - The Urban League of Union County, Inc. provides rental and mortgage assistance. Learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process.
Union County also offers the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This program provides financial assistance with past-due rent and utility payments for Union County renters who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process.
Learn about other homelessness prevention programs across New Jersey by searching our resource database.
Tenants Know your Rights
From March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2021, there was an eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 Emergency which prevented renters from being locked out of their homes until after that time. While the eviction moratorium was in effect, renters had certain rights. The Community Health Law Project, offers a simple summary of what you can expect and on other topics.
NJ Courts also recorded and posted a webinar detailing Landlord/Tenant Legal Information regarding eviction matters. Legal Services of New Jersey's has a monthly newsletter about housing updates, policies, and more.
Free Counseling Available to Homeowners and Renters
Governor Murphy and Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) announced an expansion in the NJ HMFA'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. You may also seek help through this program by calling 800-654-6873.
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. Learn more about help for homeowners here or here.
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, and eviction diversion and transition, if necessary. Learn more about help for renters here.
Housing Help NJ
Housing Help NJ is a program that is administered through the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ. It was developed to connect New Jersey renters, landlords, and homeowners to assist in preventing eviction. If you would like to speak with someone about foreclosure or eviction, call 888-691-3002. Housing Help NJ does not provide direct financial assistance.