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More Montanans Can Now Qualify for Emergency Rent, Mortgage Payment Assistance

More Montanans may now be eligible for monthly rent and mortgage assistance. The Montana Department of Commerce announced Monday that Montana Housing has made updates to the Emergency Housing Assistance program to help more Montanans access emergency housing assistance.

“We want to make sure that we give every Montanan who is financially impacted by COVID-19 the ability to stay in their own homes,” Montana Department of Commerce Director Tara Rice said. “These adjustments to the program will help more Montana families and individuals receive housing assistance and gain some financial stability without the fear of being evicted or losing their home to foreclosure.”

The eligibility updates include reducing the household contribution calculation from 30 percent of gross income to 25 percent of net income, eliminating the $10,000 readily available assets limit in checking and savings accounts and implementing a $250 per month minimum award.

Due to the new program adjustments, the NeighborWorks Montana partnership, increased advertising, reduced federal unemployment assistance and the start of the school year, Montana Housing expects to see a significant rise in eligible applicants and more assistance going to qualified Montana households. As of August 31, nearly $2.5 million had been awarded through the program assisting more than 830 Montanans with an average of three months of assistance totaling $2,822 per household.

The Emergency Housing Assistance Program provides rent, security deposit and mortgage payment assistance for Montanans who have lost a job or substantial income as a result of COVID-19. The program was created in May by Governor Steve Bullock by using a portion of Montana’s allocation of federal CARES Act dollars.

For more information and to apply visit COVIDRELIEF.MT.GOV.


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