CHARLESTON – Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Housing Development Fund are excited to announce that a program developed to help renters and landlords impacted by COVID-19 is open and accepting applications.
The Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program offers direct financial assistance to renters who have lost their job, had their income reduced or suffered a significant cost or financial hardship because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“I’m incredibly excited for this program, because it’s going to enable us to get some much-needed financial assistance to so many people who really need it,” Gov. Justice said. “This year has been challenging for so many West Virginians. Many lost their jobs and have struggled to pay rent through no fault of their own. I’ve said for a long time that we need to help our people affected by the pandemic this way. I repeatedly urged our landlords to give renters a break if they were past due on their bills because it was just the right thing to do. These are great West Virginians who are contributors to our economy in every way. We’re all-in to help them, and I could not be happier about this wonderful program.”
Funding is reserved for individuals who have qualified for unemployment benefits or who have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the coronavirus outbreak, are at risk of being homeless, have been served an eviction notice or are living in unhealthy conditions.
“Since we first announced the Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program, our staff has worked tirelessly to finalize the program and make sure it works for West Virginia residents seeking relief from rent and utility bills,” said Fund Executive Director Erica Boggess.
Some important points about the program include:
- The program is for renter households with incomes no more than 80 percent of area median income (AMI).
- Priority will be given to households with incomes of no more than 50 percent of AMI and to households in which one or more household member is unemployed and has been unemployed for 90 days.
Boggess noted the Fund has added resources, is partnering with organizations throughout the state who specialize in administering this type of funding and has undertaken an aggressive outreach campaign to help renters and landlords better understand MRAP.
Funding is limited and Fund staff is encouraging all who think they might apply to do so early.
Please go to The Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program page for more details and a link the application portal. For those who do not have Internet access or whose access may be limited, please call 211 for further details.