Union County Launches Rent Relief Program for Tenants Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Registration portal for participating landlords opens on Monday, July 26.

Tenants can begin applying on August 2

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of County Commissioners is launching a new grant program to provide financial relief for Union County residents unable to meet their rental obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the new Emergency Rental Assistance Program, eligible tenants can receive up to 12 months of assistance for unpaid back rent and utility bills.

The funds will be awarded to landlords and utility providers on behalf of tenants who are eligible for the grant.

Landlords and tenants are encouraged to register for this program in order to expedite the grant process. The registration portal for landlords will open on Monday, July 26, at ucnj.org/rental-assistance. The application portal for tenants will open on Monday, August 2, also at ucnj.org/rental-assistance.

“Our goal is to get the word out to every building with tenants who are qualified to participate in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, and get relief to those who need it as quickly as possible. We strongly encourage landlords and tenants to communicate with each other about the availability of relief through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, so applications can be reviewed without delay,” said Commissioner Board Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

The landlord and the tenant portals will both remain open throughout the application phase of the program. The portals include guidance on assembling the information and documents necessary to apply for funding.

In an effort to reach as many landlords and eligible tenants as possible, the Commissioner Board is advertising the Emergency Rental Assistance Program on television, radio, printed media, online media, and social media

To qualify for Union County Emergency Rental Assistance funding, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Union County resident primarily responsible for paying rent;
  • Make less than 80% of the average median income of Union County (e.g., less than $78,500 for a family of four);
  • Experienced a loss of income since March 13, 2020 related to the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • Provide required supporting documentation (copies of identification, tax returns, lease or other proof of income/residence may be acceptable, etc.).

Once the application is submitted, applicants will be notified of the funding decision. If approved, the funds will be provided to the landlord or utility provider on their behalf.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is funded through the Federal CARES Act for COVID-19 emergency relief. Additional CARES Act programs created by the Commissioner Board include child care assistance for low-income families and respite assistance for those caring for children with special needs and disabilities, and as well as grants for libraries, schools, restaurants and other small businesses, and non-profit organizations.

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Union County COVID-19 Test Center at Kean University, the Mobile Test Unit, vaccination information, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

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