One stimulus check that many Americans may still get is for paying rent. However, claiming this stimulus money, popularly called the renter coronavirus stimulus check, is not as easy as other stimulus checks, but it is important that you claim it.
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Since the start of the pandemic last year, the federal government has sent three stimulus checks of up to $3,200 combined. However, millions of Americans are still behind on their rent. Though eviction protection was in place, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling lifted the ban in late August.
If you are one of those still struggling to pay the rent, then you could apply for federal rent assistance. The federal stimulus bills have set aside billions of dollars in emergency rental assistance.
Specifically, the last two federal stimulus packages set aside a total of $46.6 billion for renters. Late last month, however, the Treasury revealed that so far, only about $7.7 billion has been distributed from that amount. One major reason for the slow disbursal is the distribution process.
Though the funds for renter assistance came from the federal government, the responsibility for its distribution is with the state and local governments, including housing authorities. This is something that is slowing the distribution of the renter stimulus checks.
Every housing authority has its own resources and regulations, and this has resulted in varying levels of service or responsiveness to renters.
Why You Must Claim Rental Aid?
If you have already tried claiming the renter coronavirus stimulus check, but backed out because of unresponsiveness or the confusing process, then it is recommended that you try again. Officials claim that things are improving. For instance, the aid reached over 340,000 families in July and over 420,000 families in August.
Another thing that may encourage you to claim this aid is that the amount of money you could get could be huge. For instance, eligible tenants and landlords in Illinois can apply for as much as $25,000 to pay off a maximum 15 months of rent (between June 2020 and August 2021).
Texas, on the other hand, is offering aid to cover rent and utility expenses from March 13, 2020. The maximum relief that a person can apply for is $4,600 per month.
One more reason why renters should make an effort to claim this aid is if they face eviction in the coming months. They may find it difficult to find an affordable place because of rising rent. As per the data from CoreLogic, single-family rentals are increasing at the highest rate in the past 16.5 years. Moreover, rentals in July were up 8.5% from a year earlier.
To know more about the rental assistance, including details, how to apply, requirements and more, you need to contact your local housing authority.