CHARLESTON — During Friday’s press briefing, Gov. Jim Justice announced that a program developed to help renters and landlords impacted by COVID-19 is open and accepting applications.
The Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program, administered by the West Virginia Housing Development Fund (WVHDF), offers direct financial assistance to renters who have lost their job, had their income reduced, or suffered a significant cost or financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. Justice first announced the creation of this program in January.
“I’m incredibly excited for this program, because it’s going to enable us to get some much-needed financial assistance to West Virginians who may have struggled to pay their rent through no fault of their own,” Gov. Justice said.
The Governor was joined for Friday’s briefing by WVHDF Executive Director Erica Boggess.
“The Housing Development Fund is very happy to be opening the Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program and we thank you, Governor Justice, for your support,” Boggess said. “In addition to helping our renters, this program also helps our landlords and utility companies, who will receive the payments directly once applications are approved.”
Funding is reserved for individuals who have qualified for unemployment benefits or who have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the coronavirus outbreak, are at risk of being homeless, have been served an eviction notice, or are living in unhealthy conditions.
The program is for renter households with incomes no more than 80% of area median income (AMI). Priority will be given to households with incomes of no more than 50% of AMI and to households in which one or more household member is unemployed and has been unemployed for 90 days.
Funding is limited. All who plan to apply are urged to do so early.
An application portal is available at wvmrap.com. Those with limited internet access are encouraged to call 211 for further details.