Amount of Rental Relief Funds Increase for Eligible Somerset County Residents

Posted on April 26, 2021

Recently, the income limits and the amount of funds have been increased for Somerset County families who are eligible to receive money from the Emergency Rental Relief Program (ERRP) to help keep them in their homes if they have lost their income due to the pandemic. The amount of aid has increased from the lesser of three months or $3,000 to the lesser of six months or $6,000. The new income limits were increased by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as the result of a general increase in the area’s median income.

“These funds are a lifeline for many who have been hardest hit by COVID,” said Somerset County Commissioner Paul Drake. “The rental relief funds not only assist those who have lost income due to the pandemic, but it helps combat COVID-related homelessness, and helps stabilize the economy by supporting our landlords.”

Somerset County is currently using federal CARES Act funding for the ERRP to help eligible families that have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic with their monthly rent payments. The majority of the ERRP funds will be paid directly to landlords, and additional funds will be used to help eligible recipients receive representation for those who are currently in landlord/tenant court.

The program is funded by a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocation of $646,398 from the March 2020 Federal CARES Act for the majority of Somerset County, with separate CDBG funding allocated to Franklin Township.  As a result, Franklin Township residents are not eligible for ERRP assistance.

Applicants who are eligible for funding to help offset their owed rent will have their aide amount be paid directly to landlords through a partnership with Somerset County Social Services.

To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • Be a resident of any Somerset County municipality (except Franklin Township) and have a current lease or rent agreement.
  • Have a household income that is less than the following income limits, based on household size including children:

 

1 Person – $69,000             2 People – $78,900

3 People – $88,700            4 People – $98,600

5 People – $106,500           6 People – $114,400

 

  • Be able to demonstrate that you are behind in rent payments.
  • Provide documentation of COVID-related loss of income.

Examples include:

    • Layoff or reduced work hours;
    • Unpaid leave to take care of children due to school and daycare closure;
    • Self-quarantine for 14 days resulting in a loss of income;
    • Another consequence of the virus led to a reduction of income.

To receive assistance, applicants must complete an application and submit the required documentation.  For your convenience, there are three different ways to apply.

  • Complete and submit the application and required documentation online at http://bit.ly/CDBGApplication2021
  • Print an application from that link and submit the printed copy via email to commdevel@co.somerset.nj.us;
  • Request and submit a paper copy by calling the Community Development Office at 908-541-5756 or email commdevel@co.somerset.nj.us.
  • For residents without Internet access paper copies can be mailed to: Community Development Office, P.O. Box 3000, Somerville, NJ 08876.

To learn more about Somerset County’s Community Development Office, please visit  http://bit.ly/ComDev2021.

Source: Somerset County Office of Public Information