CNMI gets $10.4 million in rental assistance and utility relief

CNMI Official Seal (PNC file photo)

The CNMI received $10.4 million for rental assistance and utility relief through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program under the recently enacted Coronavirus Response and Relief Act.

Governor Ralph DLG. Torres made the announcement last week.

The CNMI’s allotted amount was based on the 2019-2020 population estimates.

The program will be administered in the CNMI by the Office of Grants Management under the Office of the Governor.

The program aims to reduce evictions and to keep CNMI residents in stable homes, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance, plus an additional three months depending on the household’s circumstances. Payments to existing housing-related arrears, as far back as March 13, 2020, will be prioritized before consideration of any future rent payments.

Once a household’s rental arrears are reduced, the CNMI may only commit to providing future assistance for up to three months at a time.

Households may reapply for additional assistance at the end of the three-month period and the overall time limit for assistance is not exceeded.

Rental assistance provided to an eligible household should not be duplicative of any other federally funded rental assistance provided to such household.