COVID-19 rental assistance still available for Camden County residents

A view of a street with houses lining each side.

File photo: Camden, New Jersey. (Alan Tu/WHYY)

Relief money is still available for Camden County renters at risk of losing their homes or facing eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The county has already distributed $33 million since the beginning of the pandemic, and that’s helped some 5,000 county residents stay in their homes. Another $2.2 million still remains in the program, including an extra $200,000 from some other communities which couldn’t distribute the money.

“Many people have fallen on hard times because of the pandemic and the funding has helped them,” said Lou Cappelli, who heads up the County Commissioners.

The Camden County RECOVERS Rental Assistance Grant is making available up to 18 months of back rent going back to March of 2020 and up to three months of future rent.

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The grant even covers utilities if they are included in rent. Internet services may also be considered an eligible utility under the program. While tenants are the ones who will apply to the program, payments will be made directly to landlords, unless the landlord does not respond, in which case the payment will be made directly to the tenant.

“We are doing everything they can to get the word out to those impacted by the pandemic that there is money available,” Cappelli said.

In order to qualify for the program, applicants will have to be qualified for unemployment or have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also have to be at risk of becoming homeless, have a past due notice or eviction notice, and have a household income at or below 80% Area Median Income or AMI. A preference will be given to households with income below 50% AMI, which in Camden County amounts to an income of $37,150 for a four-person household.

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Households with one or more persons that have not been employed for more than 90 days will also be given preference. To be accepted into the program, the landlord must agree to waive late fees and penalties.

Applications for the program will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, and will be accepted until all available funds have been completely given out. Renters can apply on the county’s website at www.rentrelief.com/camden or call (833) 327-2119, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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