Governor Mills has extended the COVID-19 rent relief program to include the month of June.

The COVID-19 rental assistance program was established in April to help people struggling financially, because of the pandemic, some help getting their rent paid. The program allows households that meet certain income and ability-to-pay requirements to receive a one-time payment of up to $500. The money is paid directly to the landlord. When the landlord accepts the payment, they agree not to evict the tenant for the month to which it applies.

With the extension, the program now covers rent for the months of April, May, or June. Applications are being accepted through the state's Community Action Agencies. Renters who have already received a payment cannot apply again. Anyone who is still waiting for their payment can contact their Community Action agency for an update.

"We know that COVID-19 has highlighted the significant range of Mainers' housing challenges," said Daniel Brennan, Director of MaineHousing in a media release. "We're happy to continue providing support to those who need it most."

Since it started, the program has served more than 5,200 Maine households in April and May, with 2,800 applications still in process.