Need help paying the rent? NJ extends deadline for emergency rental aid lottery

If you are struggling to pay your rent because of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can enter a lottery for rental relief from the state. The deadline is July 17.

The state’s $100 million Covid-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which is mostly funded through federal CARES Act money, will provide up to six months of emergency rental assistance to low- and moderate-income households. Lottery applications were accepted beginning on July 6. The state has just extended the deadline to apply from July 10 to July 17.

The program will provide rental assistance to low- and moderate-income households that have had a substantial reduction in income as a result of the pandemic. People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are also eligible to apply. Applicants must have an annual income below the maximum income limits in their county.

Qualifying households will be expected to pay 30 percent of their income toward rent, and the program will pay the remainder of their rent up to a cap. At the three-month mark, the household’s budget will be reviewed to determine if assistance is still needed. Assistance that is no longer necessary will be used to serve additional families.

Pre-applications for the program received through July 17 will be entered into an online lottery. Officials said participants will be selected from the overall pool of applicants through a randomized process based on eligibility and the lottery criteria.

Additional information about the program, including eligibility requirements, is available in multiple languages and can be found on the DCA website.