As eviction protection ends, RI program says help is still available

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The eviction moratorium expired over the weekend, ending federal protection for renters.

But, RentReliefRI says there’s still help available at the state level.

As of Monday, there was roughly $200 million in federal funding for Rhode Islanders, according to Congressman David Cicilline.

“That money is available, both for people that can’t pay their rent and for landlords who are expecting rent and haven’t received it,” he said. “There really is no reason to evict anyone.”

Christine Hunsinger, RentReliefRI’s chief strategy and information officer, said people can still apply for help with both rent and utilities dating back to the outset of the pandemic.

Data as of 8/2 (Courtesy: RentReliefRI)

“The federal moratorium that was in effect has been lifted, and now it’s more important than ever that people who need assistance come in and apply for it,” Hunsigner added. “We can cover rent and utilities back to March 17, 2020, so starting on that date through current, so we can do up to three months forward-facing rent and in some instances, even more.”

The program has used $9 million of the federal funding so far, Hunsinger said, encouraging Rhode Islanders to take advantage of the money still available.

“Apply now. If you’ve got a problem, it’s easier to deal with the smaller problem. Don’t let it get to big,” she said. “Come in and apply now. This program is to help people get back on their feet.”

Current status of applications in RI (Courtesy: RentReliefRI)

Neighboring Massachusetts is one of four states temporarily banning evictions against those with a pending rental assistance applications.

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