In addition to stimulus checks, rental assistance proved to be a lifeline for many who are struggling to pay their rent due to the financial hardships they faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although most rental assistance programs have gotten exhausted by now, Utah received fresh federal funding to hand out more stimulus checks to its residents. However, these coronavirus stimulus checks from Utah are for residents of Salt Lake County.
Who Will Get The Coronavirus Stimulus Checks From Utah?
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic that started in early 2020, several protections were put in place to help mortgage borrowers and tenants, including forbearance and a federal eviction ban. The federal eviction ban expired last summer, while forbearance protection ended long before.
Although these two protections ended, help for renters continued as the last two stimulus packages allocated about $45 million to rental assistance. States received the responsibility of using these funds to provide help to renters through rental assistance programs.
Some states and local governments did better than others in reaching needy renters. One such county was Salt Lake County, Utah, which is now getting more funds to help tenants avoid eviction.
The U.S. Treasury is sending Salt Lake County $10 million to offer more rental assistance. Since March 2021, the country has distributed at least $64 million in rental assistance.
Those who can prove that their finances were negatively impacted by the pandemic may be eligible for this latest round of coronavirus stimulus checks from Utah. To qualify for rental assistance, applicants’ combined household income must be at or below 80% of Salt Lake County’s median income, which is $73,750 or less for a family of four.
Making The Application Process Easier
A major reason why many rental assistance applications were denied last year was because of the lack of response from applicants when asked for additional documentation or information. The county is taking several initiatives to address such issues.
Salt Lake County is working on a new program with Utah Community Action and Centro de la Familia to support struggling tenants who apply for coronavirus stimulus checks from Utah. The county is also working to make the application process simpler to expedite the distribution of the new funds.
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said they are constantly working to improve access to the funds for the most vulnerable section of the population. The partnership with UCA and Centrode la Familia is an example of that.
“Housing stability continues to be critical for our residents as we navigate new COVID-19 variants and their impacts on our workforce,” the mayor said.
Salt Lake County residents who believe they are eligible for rental assistance can apply directly by visiting the Utah Rent Relief website. For assistance on eligibility and the application process, applicants can contact Utah Community Action at (801) 359-2444 and Centro de la Familia at ERAP@cdlf.org or (801) 707-9986.