ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) — In an effort to prevent homelessness and provide housing assistance to Minnesota residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced a housing relief program Tuesday.
Walz and Flanagan announced that the state has received $100 million in housing assistance to be allocated to those struggling with rent and mortgage payments amid the pandemic.
“We’ve talked about from this pandemic that it was about the safety, the health and the well-being of Minnesotans was our focus around COVID-19 and one of those things that is about safety, it’s about health and it’s about well-being is stable housing,” Walz said during Tuesday’s press conference.
The program is the biggest ask out of the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund provided to Minnesota so far.
“We are deeply concerned that the federal boost to unemployment insurance is expiring next week and that will come to play then the following month which will be September 1, where rents will be due again and that makes it very, very difficult for people to have any stability, makes it very, very difficult for children to learn if they don’t have a home especially if they are trying to distant learn, it makes it very difficult for people to practice social distancing when they don’t have a home,” Walz continued.
The Minnesota governor says funds should be available in mid-August with the hope to have those resources available for rent due on Sept. 1.
The governor also imposed a moratorium on evictions to protect tenants struggling to pay their rent.
That moratorium remains in effect under the emergency powers order Walz issued Tuesday.
Visit the Minnesota Department of Housing’s website for more information on the COVID-19 Housing Relief Program.