PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Islanders in need of help with their rent now only have until the end of the month to apply.
RIHousing announced Tuesday that RentReliefRI will close to new applications on June 1.
The federally funded program was created in March 2021 to provide up to 18 months of financial assistance to Rhode Island renters who were struggling due to the pandemic. Along with rent, the money could be used for utilities and other housing expenses.
RIHousing said it’s closing applications since it expects the remaining funds will soon be depleted, based on the number of applicants currently under review and those expected to apply over the next few weeks.
“Today’s announcement highlights the fact that the rental assistance program has done what it set out to do: provide a lifeline to thousands of struggling renters across our state during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,” RIHousing Executive Director Carol Ventura said in a statement.
More than 27,000 Rhode Island households have been approved for assistance so far, according to Ventura.
The program was funded by $200 million from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program and $152 million from the American Rescue Plan Act.
“Through the hard work and commitment of program staff, our partners, elected officials and community members, we have been able to approve on average $2.8 million in rental and utility assistance funding per week and ensure these critical federal dollars are used to maintain housing stability for Rhode Island renters,” she added. “RentReliefRI funds have helped families get back on track and stay in their homes.”
Ventura encouraged renters and landlords who have yet to apply to seek help as the deadline approaches.
Eligible renters must be at or below 80% of the area median income, or about $77,350.