Pre-application process for emergency rental assistance program this Wednesday

Department of Administration director Edward Birn (PNC file photo)

Help will soon be available for people who’ve fallen behind on rent because of the pandemic.

Starting this Wednesday, the Department of Administration will begin the pre-application process for the Emergency Rental Assistance program.

The program will pay rent to landlords on behalf of people fallen behind on their payments.

The program will only pay for missed rent going back to March of last year when the public health emergency began.

Pre-application forms for tenants will be made available on the DOA website and applications for landlords will come later.

Pre-application forms for tenants will be available until March 19th.

Hardcopies of pre-application forms will be available on the first floor of the ITC Building as well as at village mayors’ offices.

Department of Administration director Edward Birn told Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo on Monday that although his department aims to help as many people as possible, at this time they don’t have an estimate as to how many people will apply for the program.

He said the amount of money available under the program was determined by the federal government.

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“I think we all believe that in any type of residential situation, there are a lot of renters because many people can’t afford to buy their own property and can’t qualify for mortgages. So I’m sure there’s a lot of renters out there. The amount of money that we got was the result of a federal government formula … ow they determine how the amount of money was distributed between the states and the territories. So it was a sum of money determined by them, not determined by us,” Birn said.

Birn said that the Department of Administration hopes to get rental relief payments out by April.