CNBC today released an article highlighting ways for people to go about gaining rental assistance as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. Wealth Management reports that currently there is $70 billion outstanding in multifamily rents alone, not including single family rentals and others.
Some highlights from the CNBC article:
By one estimate, 14 million Americans are behind on their rent during the crisis.
To qualify for the assistance, at least one member of your household has to have lost income or incurred significant expenses due to the pandemic, or be eligible for unemployment benefits.
States will have the funds by Jan. 26.
“Renters should contact local housing groups, their representatives or the local 211/311 lines to identify programs and learn how to apply,” she added.
Renters can get help with up to 12 months of back rent and utility bills, and potentially another three months of support if there’s still money available. In some cases, you can get funds to cover future rent payments, but only if there’s a plan to address any debts first.
It goes without saying that African Americans are disproportionately suffering during this pandemic economically. African Americans comprise 28 percent of the 14 million renters who are facing rental hardship despite only being 12 percent of the U.S. population. There should be close monitoring of rental assistance to the African American community after many African American business owners were largely left out of the PPP programs and funds. HBCUs both urban and rural should be using any and all means at their disposal to assist in helping stabilize African American families in their sphere and beyond if possible. A work study program specifically designed to help families apply for assistance could be created in the short-term with a call to alumni to raise the funds to both paying for students work study as well as provide some community assistance to African American families as well.