With eviction moratorium’s expiration date approaching, RI leaders highlight available rent relief

Politics

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium set to expire at the end of the month, Rhode Island leaders are encouraging renters and landlords to apply for financial relief.

Sen. Jack Reed joined Gov. Dan McKee Friday to highlight the state’s RentReliefRI program.

“RentReliefRI is open for business,” Reed said. “You can get the help to your families to pay the rent and utilities owed back to April last year, and the program also covers three months prospectively.”

“We don’t know if the national eviction moratorium will be lifted. But we do know folks need help and there is money available to assist them,” he continued.

McKee said the program aims to put money into the pockets of those tenants facing eviction while also strengthening neighborhoods and the state’s economy.

“This could be the difference between families getting to be able to stay in their homes and families not knowing where they will be sleeping tonight,” McKee said. “We are at a critical point and we have these funds.”

The program not only pays for rent, but also some utilities back owed through last year. As of this week, R.I. Housing officials report more than 5,500 applications have been filed, and over $1.2 million in funding has been approved or paid towards rent and utilities for more than 115 households.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Tenants and landlords that are interested can apply online or in person.

The program, which was made possible through federal COVID-19 funding, comes as Rhode Island lawmakers discuss the proposed state budget.

McKee said before he signs the $13.1 billion budget, he wants to see an itemized list of the $2 billion increase from his proposal back in March.

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