Covid Rent Relief For Felons


Renters residing all around the United States have been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Chances are, you are one of them, too!

Our hope is that this article will assist you in navigating the resources, policies, relief and assistance opportunities available to you, as well as general information regarding COVID rent relief.

CDC Ban on Evictions During COVID

Covid Rent Relief

Unless you are living under a rock, you know about the Coronavirus pandemic. It has been a topic of discussion on every news and media outlet since this national emergency began in March of 2020.

Even with this general knowledge, many people are unaware and misinformed about some of the policies that have been put in place to help struggling individuals and families.

One important policy, that was implemented last September by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), was a ban on Eviction during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Initially, this order was to end in December of 2020, but has been extended through January of 2021.

It is highly likely that this order will continue to be extended while the virus continues to spread, and impact individuals and families, across the nation.

In order to see if you or your family is eligible for this protection, you must sign a declaration form, and meet certain criteria.

Please go to for the necessary documentation and eligibility information.

Cares Act Eviction Ban

The CARES Act is not part of the CDC’s ban of evictions, but it also includes an eviction ban, which was signed into law in March 2020.

Although the 120-day window for this order has expired, it is still important to note the policies involved, in the case that you were violated by your landlord.

According to the CARES Act, you should not have been evicted for non-payment through the deadline of July 25th (2020). During the 120 period, you should not have been charged any late fees, penalties, or any other type of non-payment fee.

It is also important to remember that this section of the CARES Act did not, and does not, excuse you of paying your rent. All this means is that you cannot be evicted during this time period.

HUD Assistance for Renters

One of the major misconceptions is that renters do not have to pay rent. This is far from the case. In fact, one of the first rules of thumb that resulted from these policies was that if you are able to pay your rent, pay it.

However, in many cases, struggling individuals and families find themselves unable to do so. This is a common dilemma that many people are still struggling with. Luckily, the HUD can help.

The HUD (The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) along with the PHA (Public Housing Agency), and other private partners, have been working to alleviate and reduce some of the hardships that many renters have faced.

If you are an HUD-assisted renter, you are eligible to report any losses in income or work hours, so that if you are in an income-base rent payment program, you can get a temporary reduction in your rent agreement.

Speaking to your landlord to work out payment options, if you are struggling for income or work, can also pave the way to find solutions during financial hardships.

The main goal of the HUD and PHA is to keep individuals and families housed, so make sure you use every resource you can at your disposal when navigating assistance if you are a HUS-assisted renter.

Eligibility Temporary Rent Relief

To see if you qualify for any temporary rent relief in the state you live in, please click here.

Once you have determined if and what you qualify for, you will proceed to contact your state’s HUD office using the link above, or you can call 877-542-9723 and speak with an HUD housing counselor to see if you are eligible for temporary rent relief.

And remember, if you are able to pay your rent, pay it! If you cannot, rest assured. If you are struggling financially due to loss of income or work hours, there may be help you can qualify for.

In most cases, it is recommended to begin any relief process with speaking directly to your landlord first, to see if there are any options or arrangements that can alleviate your rent requirement.

Temporary Mortgage Relief During COVID

Much like the relief that has been made available to renters during the COVID-19 pandemic, there have also been policies implemented for homeowners that are backed by a federally insured or GSE mortgage.

Like we recommend to renters, a simple rule of thumb for a homeowner of a federally backed or GSE mortgage is that, if you can afford to pay your mortgage, pay it.

That being said, if you have been financially impacted during the pandemic and cannot afford to pay your mortgage, you can request that your mortgage payments be temporarily paused.

If this is the route you feel you need to take, click here before making the call to your servicer.

If you would like to learn more about the recent mortgage relief options and protections that have been implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic click here.

Please keep in mind, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are deadlines for foreclosures on federally backed mortgages.

The lenders or servicers cannot foreclose on any federally backed loans until after February of 2021. The same is true for any loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac until after January of 2021.

It is important to reach out to your servicer if you cannot make your mortgage payments.

If you reach out before the aforementioned deadlines, you will be able to avoid a foreclosure according to the new policies and orders put in place.

Emergency Housing Assistance During COVID-19

If you are having trouble affording your rent, mortgage, or cost of living during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. This has been an extremely difficult time for many individuals and families across the nation.

Financial hardships have plagued a multitude of individuals and families leaving people struggling to have their basic needs met.

There are two things to keep in mind here: one, you are not alone; and two, there is help out there for you if you know where to look.

Rent relief in Massachusetts

If you or your family are struggling to pay your rent or mortgage due to the financial hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and you live in the state of Massachusetts, you may qualify for some sort of relief.

The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) have implemented programs to help low-income households combat the threat of eviction or foreclosure.

Programs in Massachusetts:

In the state of Massachusetts, the two main programs that are available to help low-income families during the COVID-19 pandemic are The Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) and Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) programs.


RAFT is a program that is designed to keep families in their homes or help them find new housing. This program is specifically implemented to help families who are struggling financially to not only pay for rent, but for cost of living as well.

The RAFT program is intended for struggling low-income families with incomes of up to 50% of the AMI, or 60% in special cases.

Families can qualify for up to $10,000 per household based on their Area Median Income (AMI), and this money is intended to help struggling families maintain stable housing during the pandemic.

In order to see if you qualify based on your AMI you can click here and search the eligibility based on your area. There are eleven regional agencies throughout the state of Massachusetts where you can apply for the RAFT program.


ERMA is similar to the RAFT program; in that it helps struggling low-income families with financial assistance up to $4,000 in order to help maintain stable housing.

The ERMA program is intended for struggling low-income families within the 50%-80% range of the AMI and who have not already qualified for RAFT. Families who DO NOT qualify for RAFT because of the AMI may qualify for ERMA.

In order to see if you qualify based on your AMI you can go to, and search the eligibility based on your area. There are eleven regional agencies throughout Massachusetts where you can apply for the ERMA program as well.

By going, you can also determine if you are eligible based on the regional income level, as well as provide important income guidelines.

Both the RAFT and ERMA programs can be significantly helpful to help maintain stable housing during this crisis.

Rental Assistance Program in Maine

If you are living in the state of Maine and have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be looking for some help at the state level for any type of rental assistance program that they may offer.

The most recent Rent Relief Program in Maine ended on December 30th, 2020.

However, do not worry yourselves. The state of Maine is working on a new program in January 2021 but needs more time to work out the funding aspect of the program.

If you need any more information, or have any questions, about the program in Maine you are encouraged to send an email to

COVID Rent Relief in New York State

If you or your family live in the state of New York are struggling to pay your rent due to the financial hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be help available for you as well.

New York State has set up a COVID Rent Relief Program to assist low-income families whose rent has become an issue during this crisis.

This program provides assistance by supplying families with a one-time payment to cover rent associated costs for up to four months.

To see if you qualify for this type of rent relief, go here:

Once again, this type of program is designed to help families who have suffered a loss of income due to the pandemic, and if you qualified for this special relief program then the payment would be made directly to your landlord.

If you have not suffered a loss of income, it is advisable that you continue to pay your rent as regularly scheduled. The link provided above will give you a clear indication of whether or not you are eligible for rent relief in New York State.

How to Ask Your Landlord for Rent Relief

It is important to know what protections are in place if you are struggling to pay rent during the current crisis.

If you are having trouble paying rent due to financial hardship, the first thing you should do is to talk to your landlord. With your landlord, you can possibly come to certain agreements, or participate in programs, that allow you to work together.

If your landlord is unwilling, or unable to accommodate your request, you have other options.

To see if and/or what you qualify for in terms of rent or mortgage relief, you can find further information on (

Should You Still Pay Rent During the Pandemic?

The short and long answer is YES, but only if you are able to.

As we’ve tried to mention, without stuffing it down your throats, the rule of thumb is that, if you can afford to pay your rent, pay your rent. The policies and orders that have been signed into law in no way state that you do not have to pay rent.

In fact, this is a common misconception among renters and homeowners. The laws protect you against being evicted due to rent non payment, it does not mean you don’t need to pay your rent.

However, if you have suffered financial hardship, loss of income, reduction in work hours, you may qualify for some sort of relief, including bill payment assistance.

List of Rental Relief Programs by State

The list below will provide you with the Rental Relief Programs available by State.

This information is particularly beneficial to those who are having trouble navigating the resources and programs available to you at the state level.

If you are unable to pay rent because you lost your job, this guide can help you get started on looking for a new job.

Alabama “Navigate Affordable Housing Partners, Inc, 500 Office Park Drive, # 300 Birmingham, AL 35223 888-466-5572
Arizona “Arizona Department of Housing, 1110 W. Washington Suite 280, Phoenix, AZ 85007 866-890-0177
Arkansas “Southwest Housing Compliance Corporation, 1124 South IH 35, Austin, TX 78704 888-842-4484
(Southern) (800) California “Los Angeles LOMOD Corporation, 2600 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 3136, Los Angeles, CA 90057 877-240-4904
(Northern) (801) California “Affordable Housing Initiatives, Inc. 505 14th St., Suite 650, Oakland, CA 94612 800-982-5221
Colorado “Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, 1981 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80202 – 1272” 303-297-7442
Connecticut “Navigate Affordable Housing Partners, Inc, 500 Office Park Drive, Ste 300, Birmingham, AL 35223 888-466-5572
Delaware “Delaware State Housing Authority, 26 The Green, Dover, DE 19901 888-363-8808
District of Columbia “Assisted Housing Services Corporation, 880 East 11th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43211-2771 800-982-5219
Florida “North Tampa Housing Development Corporation 4300 W. Cypress Street, Suite 970,Tampa, FL 33607 800-982-5232
Georgia “National Housing Compliance, 1975 Lakeside Parkway Suite 310, Tucker, GA 30084 888-530-8266
Hawaii “Hawaii Public Housing Authority, 1002 N. School Street, Honolulu, HI 96817 866-591-6218
Idaho “Idaho Housing and Finance Association, P.O. Box 7899, Boise, ID 83707-1899 855-505-4700
Illinois “National Housing Compliance 1975 Lakeside Parkway Suite 310, Tucker, GA 30084 888-530-8266
Iowa “Iowa Finance Authority, 2015 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 5032” 800-432-7230
Indiana “Indiana Housing Finance Authority,30 South Meridian Street, 10th Floor, Indianapolis, IN 46204 317-656-8808
Kansas >Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, 611 South Kansas Avenue, Suite 300, Topeka, KS 66603-3803 800-752-4422
Kentucky “Kentucky State Housing Corporation, 1231 Louisville Road, Frankfort, KY 40601-6191 844-797-5078
Louisiana “Louisiana Housing Corporation, 2415 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808 888-454-2001
Maine “Maine Housing, 353 Water Street, Augusta, ME 04330-4633 800-452-4668
Maryland “Maryland Dept of Housing & Community Development 7800 Harkins Road, Lanham, MD 20706 877-863-9583
Massachusetts “Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, One Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108 617-854-1000
Michigan “Michigan State Housing Development Authority, 735 E. Michigan Avenue P.O. Box 30044, Lansing, MI 48909 844-674-3224
Minnesota “Minnesota Housing, 400 Wabasha Street North, Suite 400, Saint Paul, MN 55102 800-657-3769
Mississippi “Navigate Affordable Housing Partners, Inc, 500 Office Park Drive, Ste 300, Birmingham, AL 35223 888-466-5572
Missouri “Missouri Housing Development Commission, 3435 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111-2403 866-605-7467
Montana “Montana Department of Commerce, 301 South Park Avenue, PO Box 200548, Helena, MT 59620-0548 800-761-6264
Nebraska Housing Authority City of Bremerton, 600 Park Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337 877-792-9175
Nevada “Washoe Affordable Housing Corporation, 1525 East Ninth Street, Reno, NV 89512-3012 888-202-9036
New Hampshire “New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, 32 Constitution Drive, Bedford, NH 03110 800-640-7239
New Jersey “New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency 637 South Clinton Avenue, Trenton, NJ 08650-2085 800-654-6873
New Mexico “New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority, 344 4th Street SW, Albuquerque, MN 87102” 800-657-9647
New York “New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation, 38-40 State Street, Hampton Plaza, Albany, NY 12207 866-641-7901
North Carolina “North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, 3508 Bush Street, Raleigh, NC 27609-7509 866-318-0808
North Dakota “North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, P.O. Box 1535, 2624 Vermont Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58502-1535 800-292-8621
Ohio “Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority Assisted Housing Services Corporation, 880 East 11th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43211 877-506-3552
Oklahoma “Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency, 100 N.W. 63rd Street, Suite 200, Oklahoma City, OK 73126 800-436-1347
Oregon “Oregon Housing and Community Services Department, 725 Summer Street, NE, Suite B, Salem, OR 97301-1266” 800-453-5511
Pennsylvania “Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, 211 North Front Street, P.O. Box 8029, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8029 877-253-7709
Puerto Rico “Puerto Rico Housing Finance Authority, PO Box 71361, San Juan, PR 00936-8461 787-765-7577
Rhode Island “Rhode Island Housing, 44 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903-1721 800-427-5560
South Carolina “South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority, 300-C Outlet Pointe Boulevard, Columbia, SC 29210 803-896-9007
South Dakota “South Dakota Housing Development Authority, P.O. Box 1237, 3060 East Elizabeth, Pierre, SD 57501-1237” 800-540-4241
Tennessee “Tennessee Housing Development Agency, 502 Deaderick Street, Third Floor, Nashville, TN 37243 800-314-9320
Texas “Southwest Housing Compliance Corporation, 1124 South IH 35, Austin, TX 78704 888-842-4484
Utah Housing Authority City of Bremerton, 4040 Wheaton Way, Suite 204, Bremerton, WA 98310 877-792-9175
Vermont “Vermont State Housing Authority, One Prospect Street, Montpelier, VT 05602-3556” 800-820-5119
Virgin Islands North Tampa Housing Development Corporation 4300 W. Cypress Street, Suite 970, Tampa, FL 33607 855-243-4100
Virginia “Navigate Affordable Housing Partners, Inc., 1827 1st Avenue North, Suite 100, Birmingham, AL 35203” 888-466-5572
Washington “(Executive Office Address), Housing Authority City of Bremerton, 4040 Wheaton Way, Suite 204, Bremerton, WA 98310 877-792-9175
West Virginia West Virginia Housing Development Fund, 5710 MacCorkle Avenue SE, Charleston, WV 25304″ 888-334-6065
Wisconsin “Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority, 201 W. Washington Ave. Suite 700, Madison, WI 53701-1728” 800-943-9430
Wyoming “Housing Authority City of Cheyenne,3304 Sheridan Street,Cheyenne, WY 82009 866-628-7222

Please let us know in the comments below which resources you have used to receive rent relief during COVID.

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