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Program to assist families in need with rent coming soon

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(WVVA)- Any families that have lost jobs or have encountered reduced income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, help could be a phone call away.

The Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program offers financial assistance, renters, and landlords affected by the Coronavirus outbreak and are at risk of eviction.

The Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program's message lets callers know that help is on the way for renters and landlords alike. The program is backed by the Federal COVID-Relief Funds from the U.S. Treasury Department. It's unclear exactly when that funding will flow, but the dollar amount earmarked for the mountain state is clear.

"We do know that about $200 million is coming to the state of West Virginia for rental assistance, and we are waiting on that from the U.S. Treasury Department who is overseeing this program to give us the guidelines we need. We're also working internally on setting up our procedures in processes of opening up the program,"Erica Boggess, Executive Director of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund said.

Funding will be reserved for individuals who have qualified for unemployment benefits or who have experienced a reduction in household income. Also, people who experienced other financial hardships due directly or indirectly to the Coronavirus outbreak, as well as those at risk of being homeless, have been served an eviction notice, or are living in unhealthy conditions can also quality for the program.

"The program is designed to pay the rental assistance directly to their landlords. So people are going to need to coordinate carefully with their landlords to make sure we have all of the information we need from both the tenant and the landlord in able to determine what's owed so that we can get the checks directly to the landlords on the tenants behalf," Boggess said.

The most financially-challenged families get priority.

"The federal government issues area median incomes, and it's a per county amount, and it's also per household size. So depending on the household size and where they live there will be a specific amount that indicates those limits," Boggess said.

The Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program is not open to accept applications at this time, but we will let you know when it is.

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