On February 17, 2021 the City of Madison and Dane County rental-assistance support application portal opened on Tenant Resource Center’s website. A direct link to the pre-application can be found here: https://core.tenantresourcecenter.org/.

This program aims to support tenants in the Dane County area who owe past rent, because of lost income or other financial hardships due to COVID-19. My priority is to ensure the most impacted by COVID-19 get the necessary support to maintain their housing. This program will prioritize assistance for lower income households making 30% of County Median Income (CMI). CMI standards are set by federal government, as example 30% CMI for a family of four is $30,050 or a single individual making $21,050. While that standard is a prioritization of the funds, households making up to 50% CMI are eligible to apply. Please go to Tenant Resource Center’s website for more information on eligibility.

These funds are not the same as the original CARES rental program Tenant Resource Center operated last year. Tenants are eligible to apply again even if they received assistance last year through CARES program. A new application must be submitted to the Dane CORE program with the required documentation.

The City of Madison and Dane County together received about $16 million from federal government for emergency rental assistance. While current funds will not cover the full needs of our community, I anticipate additional funds from the federal government to enable us continue support of housing needs in our city.

The Biden administration is proposing $19.05 billion for emergency rental assistance within President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. This bill has not yet been voted on by the full House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. It is my hope that it will be passed so help can reach Americans who desperately need it.

President Biden has also extended the existing national wide moratorium on eviction and foreclosures until at list March 31st. This has been useful in keeping millions of Americans housed and it is my hope that congress will make possible financial supports to assist renters and property owners once the moratorium ends.

Another executive action taken by President Biden directs the United States Housing and Urban Development agency to take steps necessary to redress racially discriminatory federal housing policies that have contributed to wealth inequality for generations. It is important to highlight that housing inequality in the U.S. results in many neighborhoods where persons of color reside being less resourced affecting schools, living wage jobs, full-service grocery stores, green spaces and more. We applaud the Biden Administration’s recognition of structural barriers to quality living environments for all and look forward to ways cities can work with federal government to create better communities for all.

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