Policy & Research
Released: Sep 23, 2020
Governor Janet Mills, MaineHousing Director Dan Brennan call for additional Federal aid to support Maine renters and landlords
AUGUSTA – Following an additional investment of $10 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) from Governor Janet Mills, MaineHousing announced today that it will accept applications for the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program through September 30, 2020. MaineHousing projects that the additional program funding, which helps Maine people who cannot afford to pay their rent due to COVID-19, will be sufficient to support applications for rent owed for September or prior months. Applications received after funds are exhausted will be held for consideration in the event that the Federal government provides additional economic support.
“Based on how the program has been used over the last few months, we know there is an ongoing need for rent relief. Good people – both tenants and landlords – are stuck having to choose which essentials to pay for. No one should have to make that decision – especially during a pandemic,” said Daniel Brennan, Director of MaineHousing. “We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of Maine’s Community Action Agencies, who are administering this program locally across Maine. They are in many ways on the front lines of this crisis and we appreciate their willingness to keep this program running as smoothly as possible.”
“With limited relief left, it is crucial that Congress and the Administration in Washington step up now to provide economic support for Maine renters and landlords,” said Governor Janet Mills. “The COVID-19 Rental Relief Program has been successful in keeping people in their homes and ensuring that the financial obligations landlords face are also met, but much greater financial support is needed.”
MaineHousing and the Mills Administration have dedicated a total of $22.2 million in funding to support the COVID-19 Rental Relief Program since its creation in April, supporting an estimated 14,000 renter households across Maine. In August, MaineHousing doubled its rental assistance from $500 to $1,000 in payments made directly to the landlord for up to three months. The assistance may also be used to pay for overdue rent. In accepting the payment, the landlord agrees not to evict the tenant for nonpayment for the month the payment was issued. Applications are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Program requirements and application materials can be found at mainehousing.org/covidrent.