PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine will dedicate more than $6 million to help residents who can’t pay their rent because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Janet Mills said Friday.

The use of federal coronavirus relief funds will extend Maine Housing’s COVID-19 Rental Relief Program through December, said Mills, a Democrat. States around the country, including Maine, need Congress to approve more relief soon, Mills said.

“In the meantime, I will do all I can to keep people secure in their homes this holiday season,” Mills said.

The state has dedicated more than $28 million in federal relief funds to the rental aid program since April.

The announcement came as the recovery of jobs in the state appeared to slow. Unemployment in Maine fell to 5.4% in October, the Maine Department of Labor said Friday. That was a decline of less than a percentage point from September’s rate.

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