Maine Housing is, once again, offering rent and utility payment relief to residents whose income has been affected by the pandemic.

The pandemic that many of us hoped would last a few months has now stretched to a year and, for some Mainers, has caused great hardship for the simplest necessities. A combination of unemployment due to business closures, remote learning for school children, and the cost of childcare has forced many to make tough choices about which bills get paid. Governor Mills' Administration has done what it can to help those residents sustain housing, including issuing rent relief funds and banning evictions. The latter, however, has caused a hardship for some landlords, who rely on that money to meet their own needs.

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Now, Maine Housing has received $200 million in rent relief funding, that should help renters and landlords, alike. The money will help tenants pay their rent and may help them cover some utility payments, in order to sustain their housing. Applications are being accepted, starting at noon on Monday, March 1st through the Maine Housing website. Once the application is approved, the rental payment will be paid directly to the landlord.

People who plan to apply, should read over the frequently asked questions on that page, to make sure they're eligible. Some of the requirements have changed, to ensure that the money goes to those who are in danger of losing their housing situation. Anyone still unsure about whether they qualify should apply. Questions can be directed to the Maine State Housing Authority at 800-452-4668.

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