During Governor Murphy’s press conference today, he made a lot of major announcements, including the reopening plan for childcare, organized youth sports and day camps, but he also made a big announcement that will directly impact many families who have been facing income loss and are unable to pay their rent.
Murphy announced that the state will launch a $100 million short-term rental assistance program for low and moderate income families. “From the moment this emergency took hold we have made it clear that no family should fear losing their home as a result of financial hardship due to COVID-19,” said Murphy. “As another rent day approaches, I want to reiterate that point. Our strong eviction and foreclosure moratoriums remain firmly in place and will remain in force until weeks after this emergency eventually comes to an end.”
“The Department of Community Affairs is putting together our rental assistance program, with the goal of having the first rental assistance programs flowing to landlords later this summer,” Murphy added. “Throughout this we will work with landlords to ensure that back rent does not adversely impact any family and to ensure realistic and empathetic back rent payment plans.”
Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver announced some of the details of the plan, which will prioritize those who are very low income, homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. These who are most in need will be eligible for up to 12 months of rental assistance.
The remainder of the participants will be selected through an online lottery system that will open up in July, and those people could be eligible for up to six months of rental assistance. Oliver said that it will focus on those that are currently unemployed and can show that employment loss is due to the public health emergency.
The lottery will provide a preference to households that earn less than 80% of the area median income within their county.More details on the rental assistance program will be announced by the Department of Community Affairs on June 15th, with information on how to apply available at that date at nj.gov/dca