Aroostook County Action Program and MaineHousing announced the re-opening of the COVID-19 Rental Relief Program for the months of October, November, and December for renters who cannot afford to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The latest offering expands upon previous rent relief programs, run statewide by MaineHousing and administered locally by ACAP, allowing both previous and new applicants to apply for a maximum of $1,000 per month for October, November, and December rent payments. One change in the program is that it now also covers people who live in MaineHousing-financed properties and do not have a Section 8 voucher or receive other governmental rental assistance. 

“When we received additional funds allocated by Governor Mills in September, our projections showed that we would run out of money after issuing payments to help cover September rent,” said Daniel Brennan, director of MaineHousing. “As it turns out, a number of initial applicants did not proceed through the full application, and we are glad we’re able to extend help to more Mainers in need.” 

Renters may apply for October and November, beginning on November 2, by visiting mainehousing.org/covidrent or www.acap-me.org. Applications for December rent will be accepted beginning on November 23, 2020. Applications are on a first-come, first-served basis and are managed in The County by ACAP, and by local Community Action Agencies in other part of the state. 

“This comes at a time when the need is great and, for some, growing,” said Jason Parent, ACAP executive director/CEO. “We are headed into what many anticipate will be a long and difficult ‘COVID Winter.’ Many in our community, who are facing a prolonged economic impact from the effects of COVID-19, are worried as the temperatures drop and household expenses increase, while pre-COVID income has not returned. We are pleased to continue this critical partnership with MaineHousing to ensure residents of Aroostook County and across Maine have warm and safe places to live, and area landlords get their rental payments so the money can circulate back into our local economy when it is needed most.”

Following a successful application, and appropriate communication and verification of program participation with the landlord, ACAP pays the property owner directly. Should there be any balance of payment, landlords agree to postpone it, not forgive it, when they agree to participate. The landlord also agrees not to evict for non-payment of rent for the month(s) for which the funds are applied. 

“We want to be sure people know that even if they applied and received funds during other phases of this program, they can reapply now if they still need help paying their rent,” Brennan added. 

Additional eligibility requirements and information can be found at mainehousing.org/covidrent. 

Since its creation in April, the COVID-19 Rental Relief Program has allowed ACAP the ability to process 789 payments to local landlords ensuring county residents remained safely in their homes during this pandemic. 

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About Aroostook County Action Program Aroostook County Action Program provides the people of Aroostook County with services and resources that help individuals and families achieve greater economic independence. As a leader, or in partnership with others, ACAP provides guidance to the community in responding to emerging human needs in the areas of community health, early care and education, energy and housing, and economic development services. Aroostook County Action Program continues to accept new clients as well as serve existing clients through a vast array of programming. To learn more about available services available contact the ACAP Team at 207- 764-3721 or visit our website www.acap-me.org.

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