(Camden, NJ) – In January, the Board of County Commissioners launched its third round of support for renters at risk of losing their homes or facing an eviction threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These federal funds became vital for residents to stay in their current homes and aids with back utility payments.
In total, the Board has distributed more than $25 million in assistance which has kept more than 4,000 applicants in their homes, by using funds which were designated for the county as part of President Joe Biden’s American Recovery Plan (ARP) Act. The Board of Commissioners previously awarded more than $11 million in rental assistance to county residents since the fall of 2020 using funds from the first and second CARES Act.
“The eviction moratorium has been over for some time now and we’re still working tirelessly to ensure anyone who needs assistance can get it and not just for rent, but also for utilities to sustain themselves as we continue to weather this current surge of COVID-19,” said County Commissioner Al Dyer. “As a governing body, our main objective is getting this money into the community where it will do immeasurable good for our residents and will allow individuals to hit the reset button that have been adversely impacted by this insidious virus. In short, this program is a lifeline to those who are still facing the ramifications of a global pandemic that shook every pillar of our economy.”
The Camden County RECOVERS Rental Assistance Grant makes available up to 18 months of back rent (dating back to March 13, 2020) and up to three months of future rent.
Utilities that are included in rent will be treated as rent and internet services may be considered an eligible utility. While tenants will apply to take part in the program, payments will be made directly to landlords, unless the landlord does not respond and then the payment will be made directly to the tenant.
In order to qualify for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, applications must meet all three of the following conditions:
- Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability (i.e. past due notice, rent notice, or eviction notice).
- Has a household income at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI).
- Preference will be given to households with income below 50% AMI.
Additionally, the program will have the following requirements:
- There must be no duplication of funds.
- A preference will be given to households with one or more individuals that have not been employed for more than 90 days.
- Landlords must agree to waive late fees and penalties.
Congressman Donald Norcross, who supported and voted for ARP, talked about the importance of this money for renters.
“South Jersey families don’t deserve to be kicked out of their homes during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic,” said Congressman Donald Norcross. “I’m proud to have fought for this funding by voting for the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, and this latest round of assistance is proof that ARP continues to deliver for hardworking people.”
More information regarding the Rental Assistance Program, how to apply, and the additional eligibility requirements is available by visiting www.camdencounty.com.
Applications for the program will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, and will be accepted until all available funds have been awarded. To apply, go to www.rentrelief.com/camden or call (833) 327-2119, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.