Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that money is distributed to participating housing providers.
Since January, the North Dakota Department of Human Services has helped more than 1,600 people pay their rent.
Through the ND Rent Help program, $4.4 million have been distributed to participating housing providers.
ND Rent Help offers up to 12 months of help with past due, current and future rent to prevent evictions and promote stable housing.
To qualify for the assistance, people must first verify their renting status, meet the income guidelines and then prove they have experienced hardship due to COVID.
And the department says it’s not just renters who can apply.
“If you are a landlord, if you are somebody who rents a property out and you know that your renters are struggling, you can reach out to one of our application counselors or our mainline also and see if you can help get them connected, help get that application process started. So I would say that the initiation of the application can come from anywhere,” said Executive Policy Director Jessica Thomasson.
The Department of Human Services has trained and is now working with a network of 46 contracted application counselors across the state. The counselors will do local outreach, raising awareness about the ND Rent Help program and helping connect low- and moderate-income renters more quickly to rent assistance and other financial help.
To learn more about ND Rent Help, visit www.nd.gov/dhs/info/covid-19/rent-help.html.