A program designed to help North Dakotans pay their rent is doing even more than that.
ND Rent Help goes beyond its name. It also helps people pay utility bills.
Some of the eligible bills are electric, natural gas, water, and garbage services.
Anyone applying has to explain some sort of COVID hardship and meet the economic criteria.
The Department of Human Services says the program takes into account the likelihood of other struggles when housing is disrupted.
“We know that there’s a whole lot of obligations that come with maintaining stable housing. And so this program is intended to try to help look holistically at your housing cost and help make sure that stable housing is not one of the challenges that your family is having to navigate as you get back on your feet,” explained Jessica Thomasson, the Executive Policy Director for NDDHS.
Typically the program pays past bills, but Thomasson said some people based on their application could be eligible for help moving forward.