Governor Janet Mills announced on Thursday that another $5 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds are going to Maine rent relief.

The original program in April offered a one-time payment of up to $500, payable to the landlord, to help Maine renters whose ability to pay their rent was affected by COVID-19. It came at a time when people were losing their jobs and residents were being urged to stay in their homes, as much as possible.

Now, Maine's courts are due to open and will be available to process eviction notices, and people still on unemployment are losing the extra $600 bump in their benefits. Once again, Governor Mills is concerned that renters are in real danger of losing their homes, so she has dedicated another $3.3 million dollars in benefits that, once again, will be paid directly to landlords. In addition, she has extended the time it takes for landlords to serve a 'notice to quit,' (which is an intent to evict) and to process those evictions, which will give the tenant more time to meet the outstanding payments.

"Many Maine people are still experiencing significant financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, and the last thing they need to worry about is losing their home," said Governor Janet Mills. "While the future of the $600 boost in Federal unemployment benefits remains in question, we believe the combination of an expanded rental relief program and continued protections through the updated Executive Order can help renters while also not leaving landlords behind."

Applications for the new rent relief funds will be found on the Maine Housing website, beginning on Monday, August 3rd,