covid-19-emergency-rental-assistance-programs-by-state

The Guide to $25 Billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program by State

Disclaimer: This Rental Assistance Tracker is courtesy of LeaseLock, the only provider of a nationwide A- rated lease insurance program that totally eliminates security deposits, surety bonds and guarantors. Disclaimer: The information provided on this chart does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available are for general informational purposes only. Information on this chart may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This chart contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser; LeaseLock does not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.


More than a year after the onset of COVID, it’s estimated that 8 million Americans are behind on rent. We’ve closely monitored rent payment behavior to keep a pulse on how multifamily is faring during the crisis and inform apartment owners and operators.

Throughout 2020 and continuing into 2021, both legislators and rental housing leaders have lobbied to support the multifamily industry by fighting for comprehensive rent relief. State and local lawmakers also launched a patchwork of rent relief funds and eviction moratoriums to fill in financial gaps, while the CDC’s national eviction moratorium has been extended multiple times.

It wasn’t until January 2021 that the prospect of federal rent relief became a reality with the signing of a $900 billion relief package — including $25 billion in rent assistance.

Below, we have a state-by-state breakdown of the $25 billion federal rental assistance program, including details around:

  • Rental Assistance Eligibility
  • Rental Assistance Applications
  • Rental Assistance FAQs
  • Additional Resources

What Is the $25 Billion Emergency Rent Assistance Program?

The Treasury launched the $25 billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On January 26, pandemic rental aid funds are disbursed directly to States, U.S. Territories, local governments, and Indian tribes, and grantees are to use the funds to provide assistance to eligible households through either existing or newly created rent assistance programs.

Who Is Eligible for Emergency Rent Assistance?

In order to qualify for rental assistance through the national program, at least one member of a household must have lost income or incurred significant expenses as a result of the pandemic, or be eligible for unemployment benefits. Applicants must also demonstrate a risk of homelessness.

In addition, income levels for 2020 cannot exceed 80% of the applicant’s area’s median income. Applicants should expect to show in writing that they meet these qualifications.

Renters do not need to be behind on rent in order to qualify, but they cannot get money for future rent payments until any rental arrears are paid off.

How Do Renters Apply For Emergency Rent Assistance?

For information on how and where to apply, scroll below to locate state-specific application details, as application processes will differ state by state, and city by city. Many locales and states already have existing rent assistance funds, and it is through one of these that new aid will be available. In other cases, new programs will be created to disburse the funds. Property managers are able to apply on behalf of renters, but must obtain the renter’s signature and provide them with a copy of the application.

How Much Rent Assistance Can Renters Receive?

Renters can receive up to 12 months of back rent and utility bills, and potentially an additional three months of financial support if funds are still available. In some cases, renters may receive funds to cover future rent payments, but only if there’s a plan to address debts. Funds are paid directly to property managers or utility companies.

Rent Assistance Program FAQs

Please consult the Treasury Department’s FAQs, which details information and guidance to state and local grantees in charge of disseminating rent assistance funds. Additionally, the NMHC is continually updating their Rental Assistance FAQ page.

List of State Emergency Rent Assistance Program Applications, FAQs, & Additional Resources

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona 

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Washington D.C.

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

  • Oregon delegates the application processes to the entities listed here. However, Oregon also has a landlord-specific program that allows landlords to apply directly for assistance to cover rental arrears. The applications for the program open up in April.
  • Oregon Rental and Housing Assistance FAQs

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

  • South Carolina has only just disbursed funds from the CARES act (which is now closed). However, here’s the link to applications for funds to be disbursed by South Carolina, and here’s the link to the general program page, which should have updates about the new funding (from the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act).

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin has delegated the application process to the counties. Use this interactive map for instructions on how to apply for assistance in each county.

Wyoming

  • Wyoming has not currently set up a program to disburse Emergency Rent Assistance funds. However, find updates on Wyoming’s plans to distribute the funding here.

To download a PDF of the comprehensive list of state emergency rent assistance programs, fill out the form below:

Access the Full Rental Assistance PDF & Live State Funds Tracker