Bostonians with zero or reduced income because of the statewide stay-at-home advisory due to the coronavirus pandemic can apply for help paying rent through a new $3 million Rental Relief Fund, Mayor Marty Walsh announced on Thursday.
Bostonians who qualify for the fund will receive up to $4,000 in financial assistance for rent. To qualify, residents must either be ineligible for the new extended unemployment benefits offered by the federal government or, because of the nature of their jobs, their unemployment benefits must be significantly less than their actual income. The financial assistance will only be available to households earning less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income, which is $72,000 for a two-person household, according to the mayor’s office. Also, part of the fund will be reserved for households with extremely low incomes (less than $25,000 for a single-person household) and very low incomes (less than $42,000 for a single person).
“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a national crisis at a scale not seen in our lifetime, it is imperative that all levels of government exercise all possible tools to ensure the health and safety of our residents, and to keep them stably housed,” said Mayor Walsh, in a press release. “As a key piece of legislation makes its way through the State House, it is our hope that this funding will offer immediate financial relief to renters in Boston who otherwise would be unable to make their rent payment. We understand that this resource is critical to have in place not only for economic reasons, but also to protect the public health.”
The relief fund is managed by the Office of Housing Stability at the Department of Neighborhood Development, along with nonprofit partners Metro Housing Boston and Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH).
Renters can begin applying for the fund on Monday.