With each passing day, as more Americans are vaccinated against COVID-19, we get incrementally closer to ending the coronavirus pandemic. It will take more than jabs in arms to undo the damage from the past 17 months, however. The economic devastation, for example, has proved singularly extensive. This is why states, as well as the federal government, are trying everything from direct financial aid to Americans as well as rental assistance stimulus — and so much more — to alleviate some of the economic pain and suffering.
The federal government at the moment is still distributing a third wave of $1,400 stimulus checks. Starting July 15, meanwhile, the disbursement of a whole new series of stimulus checks will begin. This new wave of checks stems from an expansion of the federal child tax credit. Up to $3,600 per family, per eligible child, translates to six monthly checks between now and December. Checks that total either $250 or $300 (again, per eligible child). Meanwhile, rental assistance is another area targeted for stimulus-related aid.
Rental assistance stimulus payments
All of this aid continues to mount as the US hovers right under a vaccination rate of 50%.
That’s good news. And so is the availability of so much aid to help people mitigate the pain of this pandemic.
President Biden signed a huge stimulus package into law back in March. In terms of rental aid, it added to the help provided by President Trump’s December stimulus package. According to the US Treasury Dept., the latter, “provided $25 billion of federal relief to be administered by the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program for disbursement to existing state and local government programs.”
Biden’s stimulus package, meanwhile, provided another $21.6 billion. That money is for “states, territories, and local governments to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 crisis.”
Struggling to pay rent? You may qualify for up to $25,000 in stimulus cash https://t.co/aQFtYBUq2s
— TK Kirkland (@Tk_kirkland) June 28, 2021
The National Low Income Housing Coalition maintains a list of a few hundred rental assistance programs around the country that can help get a chunk of the federal rental assistance stimulus money to people who need it.
Generally, you have to be a renter who’s having a hard time paying your rent and/or your utility bills because of the pandemic. Perhaps, for example, the pandemic caused you to lose your job.
For an idea of the kind of stimulus-related rental aid available, Texas is offering help with unpaid rent and utilities going as far back as March 13, 2020. And in Illinois, that state’s Housing Developing Authority is overseeing the administration of $1.5 billion in rental assistance. There, tenants and landlords can apply for grants of up to $25,000 to cover as many as 15 months of rent payments between June of last year through August of this year.
The COVID-19 virus hit the US very unevenly. The same is true for the related economic pain. Your local area will have its own stimulus benefits available, as well as its own specific requirements to be aware of.