As people continue to see financial hardships with the ongoing pandemic, Utah has a new rental assistance program to help make ends meet.
Utah received $215 million in federal funds to help renters through the pandemic. The Department of Workforce Services has set up an online application to offer tenants rental relief.
The state funded a similar program last year, offering nearly $25 million in rental assistance through December 2020. Lance Soffee with the department says people from all corners of state applied to the program.
He said despite steady economic recovery there’s still people in need of assistance.
"Utah’s in a good spot," Soffe said. "I mean, we are at 3.1% unemployment rate. Needs in our state are less than others, but it is still very apparent that the need to cover rent is big."
The program will pay for up to three months of lease and it can also cover past due rent for three to six months, along with security deposits and utilities.
Soffee said the program isn’t only targeted towards renters but can also help landlords.
"It’s for both sides," he said. "So there's been an eviction moratorium in place where renters could stay if they couldn't pay, and the landlord's didn't have the ability to evict them based on non payment. The main point of it is to create housing stability during this. But at the same time, it's here to support the landlords that didn't have the ability to pay their own bills, because there was an eviction moratorium."
If renters are unable to fill out the online form, landlords can complete it for them.
Qualifying renters include those who make at or below 80% of the area median income or people who have experienced a reduction in income.
To apply, renters can visit, rentrelief.utah.gov.