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Deadline to apply for COVID housing assistance program is Tuesday

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Posted at 8:15 PM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 12:03:34-05

HELENA — Montana officials are encouraging people who have lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for housing assistance before the deadline on Tuesday.

The Montana Department of Commerce has been operating the Emergency Housing Assistance program since this spring. For those who are eligible, it covers part of the cost of rent or mortgage payments – up to $2,000 a month.

The program is open both to new applicants and to those who need additional assistance for the months of November and December.

The deadline to apply for the Emergency Housing Assistance program is 5 p.m., Nov. 10. You can find more details about eligibility requirements and how to apply at covidrelief.mt.gov.

So far, leaders say they’ve provided assistance to nearly 1,800 renters and homeowners around the state, totaling about $5.4 million.

“We hear from renters and homeowners almost every day who’ve said that they’ve never needed assistance like this before, they’ve never had to work with a program like this before,” said Commerce director Tara Rice. “But the situation created by the pandemic has meant that they unexpectedly lost a job or lost income – and access to this program, that we were able to stand up quickly this late spring and continue through the summer and into the fall, has been the thing that has allowed them to stay in their home.”

The money for this program, like a number of other COVID relief grants, came from the federal CARES Act. All of that money must be allocated by the end of the year, which is the reason for the deadline.

The other grant program that remains open for applications is the Business Adaptability Grant, which helps businesses pay for changes they’ve made in response to COVID-19. That application deadline is Sunday, Nov. 15.