Gov. Walz, state leaders highlight emergency rental assistance program

Gov. Walz, state leaders highlight emergency rental assistance program

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) - Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan joined State Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho to spotlight RentHelpMN, Minnesota’s newly available emergency rental assistance program.

Lt. Gov. Flanagan said, “A lot of Minnesotans had a problem paying their rent before the pandemic, and COVID-19 has made it much harder for more people.”

The new program aims to help low- and moderate-income renters to get caught up on overdue rent and utilities dating back to March 2020. It also assists those at risk of falling behind on rent payments due to the pandemic.

“It’s a great program. It’s good public health. It’s ready to go and I think the relieving stress on folks to remember this is retroactive from March of last year and it’s also proactive three months into the future,” added Gov. Walz.

Minnesota received about $375 million in federal funding for emergency rental assistance following the passage of the stimulus bill in December.

Commissioner Ho stated, “This is an enormous amount of money, and so it’s not a lottery. It’s not going to be open last week and close next week. We’re going to be running this program well into 2022.”

State leaders say a network of community organizations are available to help renters across the state navigate the application process.

“We know that many families are still out of work or have reduced hours, or have had to quit jobs to care for their children or loved ones. RentHelpMN will help,” mentioned Lt. Gov. Flanagan. “If you’ve not been able to keep up with rent or utilities, we have help and we have hope.”

Renters can apply directly or learn more about the application process by visiting renthelpmn.org or calling Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 211 Resource Helpline.

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