NEW ORLEANS — Starting Thursday, some renters can apply for rental assistance if they can't pay their rent due to impacts from COVID-19. Governor John Bel Edwards announced the new $24 million Emergency Rental Assistance Program Thursday afternoon.
"This program is designed to help renters who have faced financial hardship as a result of shutdowns, closures, layoffs, reduced working hours or unpaid leave due to the pandemic," he said in the press conference.
The first-come-first-serve payments depend on income, household size, and fair market rent prices.
"The program is available to individuals who are at 30 percent or below average medium income," said Keith Cunningham, Executive Director for the Louisiana Housing Corporation.
It assists households whose income does not exceed $13,500 for one individual, up to 25,450 for a household of eight people.
Income Eligibility Requirements:
- 1 Person $13,500
- 2 Person $15,450
- 3 Person $17,350
- 4 Person $19,300
- 5 Person $20,850
- 6 Person $22,400
- 7 Person $23,900
- 8 Person $25,450
"That benefit will allow for three months of rental payment moving forward and three months of back rental payment as additional emergency solution grant dollars are made available," Cunningham said.
"It's just not good enough," said Andreanecia Morris with Housing Louisiana.
She believes this is only a start. The program provides $24 million in assistance, but she estimates at least $250 million is needed to keep Louisiana renters in their homes.
"If you're a family of four you cant make more than $19,000 to qualify for this rental assistance program and you have to have lost income because of COVID to access the funds, so this is a sliver," Morris said.
"We know there are thousands of Luisiana citizens who will likely need assistance in addition to the funds we have so we will continue to look for additional funding," Gov. Edwards said.
You can apply now by calling 211 or at larenthelp.com.
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