SALT LAKE CITY (March 15, 2021) — Utah renters can now apply for pandemic rental assistance online.

The state says it has $215 million in federal funds available for renters who have been impacted by the pandemic. Those who need assistamce can apply through the “single, centralized online application at rentrelief.utah.gov.

“For families facing economic uncertainty, there’s nothing more important than knowing that they can remain in their home,” says Casey Cameron, Department of Workforce Services executive director. “Emergency Rental Assistance can provide that essential support to cover rent, fees, utilities and more to help renters maintain stable housing.”

Renters are eligible if they have a combined household income at or below 80% of median income in the area, have qualified for unemployment benefits, experienced a reduction in income, or incurred significant costs due to the pandemic and are experiencing housing instability.

Applicants may be prioritized and expedited if they have been unemployed for at least 90 days, or are at or below 50% of area median income, according to officials.

“We encourage renters to coordinate with their landlords to work out a plan for payment, which may include Emergency Rental Assistance,” says Cameron. “Communication is key.”

Before applying, applicants are asked to gather documentation that will help the process go smoothly, including their full lease agreement, landlord contact information, a ledger showing outstanding rent and fees, income certification documents, past-due bills, and eviction notice, if it is applicable.

Visit rentrelief.utah.gov for more information.

Utah started providing rental assistance in May 2020 to keep Utah residents in their homes during the pandemic, despite job loss or other financial impacts.

About $25 million in rental assistance was paid through December 2020. Officials say Congress then created the emergency Rental Assistance program to continue providing rental assistance through Dec. 31, 2021, with funding going to the state of Utah, Davis County, Salt Lake County, Utah County, and Salt Lake City.

While waiting for program guidance and funding from the Department of the Treasury, Utah says they used existing funds to continue paying rental assistance during January and February 2021. The Treasury provided the needed guidance for the new program on Feb. 22, 2021.