Patricia Reaves leads a team with expertise in helping renters apply for rental assistance. ONE Neighborhood Builders is one of several agencies authorized to help tenants apply to RIHousing and get a case number.

Since May, ONE|NB has helped more than 1,350 residents with questions and any type of assistance. Of those, ONE|NB has helped 304 residents apply for rental assistance, with 133 approvals, totaling $831,034, with average rent relief per applicant at $6,248.

 

By Patricia Reaves
ONE Neighborhood Builders | Rent Relief Supervisor

If you are a renter in Rhode Island, there may be money available from the federal government to help keep you in your home until you can get back on your feet financially.

Thanks to the efforts of U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Rhode Island has received $200 million in rent relief money from the federal government as part of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This program helps renters, and, in turn, landlords, assisting with rent payments and with utilities.

The program is designed to give people money to help pay their rent and utilities while they get back on their feet financially, due to a reduction of income or lack of employment as a result of the pandemic.

Renters can call us, and we can help get them started: (401) 378-3162.

Although renters can apply online themselves at RentReliefRI.com, the online nine-page application for tenants can be daunting, and that’s why we’re here. We’re trained to help people fill out the forms and gather the necessary documentation to apply for relief.

The funds for this program are administered by RIHousing. But our office here at ONE Neighborhood Builders assists with the online applications and helps tenants obtain a case number and complete their online applications. Once someone has a case number, the decision for funding is in the hands of RIHousing.

Who’s eligible?

There are several criteria that renters must meet in order for them to qualify for rent and utility assistance:

  • Tenants must meet certain income limits. They vary by location.
  • Tenants must have incurred a reduction in household income due to COVID-19.
  • Tenants must show that they are at risk of losing their housing or becoming homeless.
  • Tenants must provide various forms of paperwork, including proof of residency, proof of income, and other documents, while their landlords are also required to show proof of property ownership, various tax and identifying information, and more. (Details of the requirements are online and available in our office at 66 Chaffee Street, Providence.)
  • Individuals who are experiencing homelessness are eligible to apply for a security deposit and three months of rent for new housing.

The program pays for rent and utilities going back to April 1, 2020. Each application, if approved, can help the renter pay past due rent and three months of forward-facing rent. Renters could be eligible for a total of 18 months of assistance.

Either the landlord or the tenant can initiate the Rent Relief application. Here at ONE Neighborhood Builders, we can also help landlords fulfill their paperwork requirements.

It’s particularly important that tenants know that the moratorium on evictions was lifted as of October 3 (after having been extended from June). That means landlords can evict tenants for nonpayment of rent.

But for renters who have not already maxed out their Rent Relief, help may still be available.

Call us at (401) 378-3162, and we can help get you started.