Sept. 23, 2020
COVID-19 RENT RELIEF NOTICE
Applications will be accepted ONLY through September 30, 2020 for rent owed for September or prior months. This program will NOT cover October rent. Applications are processed on a first come, first served basis. Applications that are received after funds are exhausted will be held for consideration in the event that the Federal government provides additional economic support
Sept. 2, 2020 UPDATE: EXPANDED COVID-19 RENT RELIEF PROGRAMThe Expanded COVID-19 Rent Relief Program remains open to eligible Maine residents. If calling for information about or assistance with the Rent Relief Program, there may be extended wait time due to heavy call volume. We ask your patience, and we appreciate your understanding.If you are a tenant or landlord seeking additional information about the Program, please visit Maine Housing’s website at mainehousing.org.
If you are a tenant and would like to apply for rental assistance relief, please visit the Maine Housing website at mainehousing.org to complete an online application.
If you need help completing the application or have questions, please call 324-5762, Option 9, and leave your name and phone number after the tone. A member of our Outreach Team will return your call within one business day.
Please allow two weeks’ processing time before calling to inquire about your Rent Relief application. We are experiencing a very high volume of applications, and processing them daily. Please do not leave a phone message inquiring about your application before the two-week period has ended. You may wish to seek additional or alternative resources from your Town, or through YCCAC’s Outreach office (324-5762, Option 0).
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 https://mecap.org/rent or they can apply through YCCAC by calling 324-5762, Option 9, if they don’t have access to the internet or have questions about the program.
For more information about the program, eligibility and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the Maine State Housing website.
Expanded COVID-19 Rent Relief Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
UPDATED August 27, 2020
Can I apply for rent due in the same month or only rent that is in arrears? If you owe rent for past months, you can apply for assistance with rent that is in arrears. If you are forecasting that you will not be able to pay your rent for an upcoming month, you may apply on or after the first day of the month.
Who is eligible?
You may qualify if your annual income is within the income limits identified on the table below and are based on household size and the county in which you live. Some municipalities may have their own rent relief program. They currently include Lewiston and Cumberland County, with the exception of Brunswick. If you live in one of these communities, you are not eligible for this program and must apply for that program. This list will be kept updated.
Ability to Pay:
You may qualify if you are unable to pay your rent due to circumstances directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of changes in circumstances include but are not limited to:
being laid off;
having your place of employment closed;
reduction in hours of work;
having to stay home to care for your children because your day care or school has closed; or
other loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Subsidized and Tax Credit Housing Excluded: If you live in housing that receives any kind of subsidy, you are NOT eligible. Ask your landlord or property manager about other rent relief options that may be available. You are not eligible if you:
Get a Section 8 Voucher, live in Section 8 apartments, or receive Rental Assistance from USDA’s Rural Development.
Live in housing developments with mortgages financed by MaineHousing or a federal agency.
Live in a development/property using low-income housing tax credits.
Live in public housing.
Assets If you can afford to pay your rent from income of any sort or from savings or other liquid assets, you are not eligible.
Mobile Home Pad Rents If you own a mobile home and rent space in a mobile home park you may be eligible for this program. If you are eligible for the program, it is only for lot rent or the mobile home rent. Park fees are not included.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How much will the program pay? The program may pay up to $1,000 per month per household for a maximum of three months (for up to a total of $3,000).
My rent is more than $1,000. What about the rest of it? Work with your landlord. This benefit will help but you still must pay the rest of your rent.
If the $1,000 maximum benefit is all I can pay right now, will I be evicted?You will not be evicted for the month that your landlord accepts the payment. By accepting payment, the landlord agrees not to evict you for non-payment of rent for the month for which the payment is made. This protection from eviction does not extend to evictions due to other non-compliance with the lease provisions or failure to pay rent for other months’ rent not covered in this program.
Should I tell my landlord that I am applying?Yes. Communication between you and your landlord is very important. Most landlords do not want to lose good tenants and good communication can only help. It is also important for them to know that you’ve applied because they are required to fill out paperwork to receive these funds.
How will the application be processed? How will the landlord get paid?When you submit your application, your local Community Action Agency will process the application. They will contact you directly to confirm the information provided on the application. They will then contact your landlord. The landlord will agree to accept the payment and to not evict you for any rent remaining due that month. Once the landlord agrees and fills out required paperwork, the Community Action Agency will make a payment directly to the landlord. It is very important to remember that payments cannot be made until all required documentation has been submitted by the applicant and received from the landlord.
How long will the program run? The program will run until the funds are exhausted or the program ends.
What if my landlord refuses to participate? We hope that landlords will participate in this program and accept payments. However, there is nothing we can do to require the landlord to participate.
Application & More Info
Applications for the COVID Rental Relief Program – Expanded will processed by Community Action Agencies. Please visit the Maine Community Action Association’s website to fill out an online application. 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.