Expanded COVID-19 Rent Relief Program Helps Keep Mainers Safe

Are you having trouble paying rent due to COVID-19? We may be able to help!

The COVID-19 Rent Relief Program is for renters who cannot afford to pay their rent due to circumstances related to the COVID 19 pandemic. This program expands upon the previous rent relief program through MaineHousing. You can apply for this expanded program even if you applied and received funds under the other program.

Applicants apply online at www.mainehousing.org/covidrent (click the 2020 COVID-19 Rent Relief – Expanded Application), or they can apply through YCCAC by calling 324-5762, Option 9.

Governor Janet Mills announced the expanded rent relief program on Thursday, July 30th, for August 3rd activation.

“Many Maine people are still experiencing significant financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, and the last thing they need to worry about is losing their home,” said Governor Mills. “While the future of the $600 boost in Federal unemployment benefits remains in question, we believe the combination of an expanded rental relief program and continued protections through the updated Executive Order can help renters while also not leaving landlords behind. My Administration will continue to work closely with MaineHousing and local agencies across the state to help keep Mainers housed.”

This program provides up to $1,000 per month for a maximum of three (3) months for rent not covered by any other Federal, State or Local program. The three month period is for prior months and/or the current month. You may apply for each month’s rent you cannot pay up to three (3) months total. The benefit is retroactive, so you may apply for past months and the current month at the same time. You may not apply for a future month. You will need to apply again if need help for future months and have not reached the maximum $3,000 limit.

The applicant is the renter and the benefit is paid directly to the landlord. If the landlord agrees to participate in the program, the landlord is postponing the balance of the payment, not forgiving it, and further agrees not to evict for non-payment of rent for the month(s) for which the COVID-19 Rent Relief was applied.

“We know that eviction concerns across Maine are significant. We want people to remain safe and secure in their homes – and this extended program will help,” said Daniel Brennan, Director of MaineHousing. “As we work on a number of solutions needed to address housing challenges that are exacerbated by the pandemic, we hope that landlords and tenants are continuing to work together to keep Mainers housed.”

Click HERE for Program Summary, Eligibility Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

For more information about the program, please visit Maine State Housing.