In last Thursday’s installment of Working Together, we noted that in spite of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6 to 3 decision to overturn the federal eviction moratorium, Minnesota has protections in place to assist those behind on their rent and utility bills as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent MinnPost article, Minnesota has disbursed around 13 percent of the $375 million available in rental assistance dollars through RentHelpMN since December. And, while state officials seek to increase the pace in which these funds are meted out, they are reminding eligible Minnesota households that in order to be protected from eviction, they must submit an application for rental assistance right away. Although all of Minnesota’s termination and eviction protections will be officially lifted on October 12, 2021, any household with a pending application cannot be evicted before June 1, 2022, providing the State of Minnesota an additional eight months to distribute these dollars.
Residents of St. Paul and Ramsey County can apply directly through the St. Paul – Ramsey County Rent Assistance Program, which opened in late July. Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties is the administrator of this program and will process all applications. For more information, including eligibility requirements, and/or to apply for rental assistance, please call us at 651-999-5737, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or apply online at https://submit.caprw.org/forms/cera. Those behind on rent and utilities can request assistance dating back to March 13, 2020, the day that a state of emergency was declared in Minnesota due to the pandemic. Applicants must provide documentation of rent accrued and information on how the pandemic has caused them financial hardship. Employer paystubs, federal tax returns or other proof of income are also required.
The St. Paul – Ramsey County Rent Assistance Program is partnering with several “field navigators,” that are available to answer questions about the program. These field navigators include Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio, Hmong American Partnership, the Latino Economic Development Center, and McLemore Holdings. Contact information for each of these organizations can be found at https://www.ramseycounty.us/residents/assistance-support/assistance/financial-assistance/emergency-assistance.
For individuals and families residing outside Ramsey County in need of pandemic-related emergency rental assistance, please go to https://www.renthelpmn.org or call 211. And, for important dates regarding the end of the eviction moratorium, the rights and responsibilities of renters, how to seek legal aid, and other critical resources, visit Minnesota Housing online at https://www.mnhousing.gov/sites/np/covid19emergencyrentalassistance.