Walsh announces $3 million relief fund for tenants struggling to pay rent amid coronavirus crisis

BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced Thursday that a $3 million relief fund has been set up for tenants who are falling behind on their rent because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“At this stressful time, people should not have to worry about losing their home, period,” he said.

The fund, managed by the Office of Housing Stability with nonprofit partners Metro Housing – Boston and Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, will provide income-eligible Boston residents with up to $4,000 in financial assistance to be used for rent.

To qualify, residents must either not be eligible for the new extended unemployment benefits offered by the federal government or, because of the nature of their job, the unemployment benefits that they will receive represent a significant reduction in their actual income.

The funding will only be available to households earning less than 80 percent of Area Median Income, which is $72,000 for a two-person household.

“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a national crisis at a scale not seen in our lifetime, it is imperative that all levels of government exercise all possible tools to ensure the health and safety of our residents, and to keep them stably housed,” Walsh said. “As a key piece of legislation makes its way through the State House, it is our hope that this funding will offer immediate financial relief to renters in Boston who otherwise would be unable to make their rent payment. We understand that this resource is critical to have in place not only for economic reasons, but also to protect the public health.”

Applications for the Rental Relief Fund will be available on Monday.

Anyone with questions can contact the city’s Office of Housing Stability by calling 311 or by emailing housingstability@boston.gov.

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