New RI rental relief program now accepting applications

Money

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — There is a new program that is giving a much-needed boost to renters in Rhode Island.

The program called “RentReliefRI” is now accepting applications to help both renters and landlords.

Gov. Dan McKee says it will help low-to-moderate income families who have been impacted by COVID-19 to stay in their homes.

According to McKee, it’s funded through $200 million in federal rent relief funds. Applicants are eligible for up to 12 months of help and there is no monthly cap on relief.

RentReliefRI will also help with past due rent or utilities owed back to April of last year and, unlike the two previous rental assistance programs, this one will help with future rent payments.

A renter needs the following to qualify for assistance, according to RentReliefRI:

  • Your household income must meet certain income limits; these limits vary by location and household size. (Click here for more information on income limits.)
  • You must have qualified for unemployment benefits or have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced other financial hardship due (directly or indirectly) to COVID-19.
  • You must show you are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability. This may include submitting past-due rent and utility bills or eviction notices when you apply.

Renters are asking to prepare the following documents:

  • Proof of residency (ex: bank statement, utility bill, driver’s license)
  • Proof of income (ex: wage statements, unemployment letter, 2020 tax return)
  • Signed copy of your lease agreement or documentation showing tenancy (a pattern of rent payment)
  • Documentation demonstrating your rental/utility arrearage (ex: past due utility bill, eviction notice, 5 day demand letter, communication from landlord)

Below are the documents landlords or property managers are asked to prepare:

  • W9 Form
  • EIN or SSN Verification (ex: tax filing, social security card)
  • Rent arrearage documentation (ex: ledger, past due notice)
  • Proof of property ownership (ex: mortgage statement, real estate tax bill, water/sewer bill)
  • Tenant contact information (ex: cell phone, email address) 

Starting Tuesday, community partners and a call center will come online to help people with the process.

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Providence

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