Coronavirus

Kim Janey: Boston to add $50 million for COVID-19 rental relief

Nearly 1,900 households have used the Rental Relief Fund since the program was created last year.

Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey.

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Boston will add $50 million to its Rental Relief Fund to support the city’s tenants struggling to make rent payments as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, acting Mayor Kim Janey announced Tuesday.

The influx of new cash into the program comes a day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the federal eviction moratorium for renters through June. The protection, available to renters who meet certain criteria, was initially set to expire Wednesday.

“I applaud the CDC for extending eviction protections for families in Boston and across the country,” Janey said on Tuesday during a press conference on the city’s pandemic response. “The reality is many Boston families will still need help with housing costs to get through this pandemic.”

With that in mind, the city’s latest investment in its relief initiative will provide money for rent and utilities to residents struggling from the financial impact of the health crisis, according to Janey.

Federal aid makes up the “vast majority” of the newly designated cash, said Sheila Dillon, the city’s chief of housing and director of neighborhood development.

“We encourage tenants and landlords to communicate and work together during this challenging time,” Janey said. “For those tenants who are not able to reach an agreement with their landlords, this money can help them make a move. Funds will be available for certain moving costs, as well as first and last month’s deposits.”

The Rental Relief Fund provides eligible households up to $15,000 in assistance for up to 12 months. Household eligibility is reviewed every three months, according to officials.

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Since the program’s launch last year, nearly 1,900 households have used it, Janey said.

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