Over $30M in housing assistance requested in 1st month of Minnesota program

More than $30 million in housing assistance has been requested in the first month of Minnesota's COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program, according to state officials.

In July, Governor Tim Walz approved $100 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund from CARES Act would go toward housing and rental assistance. The COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program was formed and began taking applications on Aug 24.

As of Sept. 28, there have been requests for $30.3 million of assistance. More than 33,500 people have been screened for initial eligibility.

Of the requested funds, 53% is for rental assistance, 26% is for mortgage assistance, 14% for utility assistance and 7% for all other eligible expenses. So far, Minnesota Housing has disbursed about $10.3 million.

The applicants come from every country across the state, with 57% living in the 7-county metro area and 43% living in Greater Minnesota.

Data shows that people of color have been disproportionately impacted. Statewide, 57% of the applicants are Black, Indigenous and people of color. These groups, however, make up about 21% of the state's population.

Funds are still available for those in need. To be eligible, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a Minnesota resident.
  • Be a renter or homeowner with an income at or below 300% of federal poverty guidelines, with a preference for those at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines. To see if your income qualifies, please see the FY 2020 Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • Have an eligible expense that was incurred after March 1, 2020 that is past due. Housing assistance funds can only be used for eligible expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020.
  • Be unable to make the payment(s) owed because of the public health emergency due to unemployment, illness, or another COVID-19 related issue.

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