FOR RENT sign

A “For Rent” sign stands in front of a Boise property on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021.

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BOISE — Following the Idaho Legislature and Gov. Brad Little’s approval to authorize millions of dollars in federal money to rental assistance for Idahoans, the Idaho Housing and Finance Association has opened applications for assistance.

Idaho renters who have been affected by COVID-19 can receive short-term rent and utility financial support through Housing Preservation Program from the association.

All renters in Idaho are eligible, except for those who live in Ada County. Ada County has a separate application for its renters through the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority.

People living outside of Ada County who need assistance can apply for it from the Housing Preservation Program at idahohousing.com/hpp. People within Ada County can apply at erap.bcacha.org.

To apply, applicants must owe past-due rent or utilities, or be unable to pay upcoming rent or utilities because of COVID-19 circumstances. To be eligible, applicants can earn no more than 80% of the area median income, must be Idaho residents and must have at least one member of the household legally eligible to reside in the United States. Those receiving a federal housing subsidy are not eligible.

A list of the area median income for cities and counties in Idaho can be found at idahohousing.com.

Those who qualify can receive up to 15 months of assistance, according to an Idaho Housing and Finance Association press release. The payments from the program will be made directly to landlords or utility companies. Landlords can apply on behalf of their tenants.

This is the first time many Idahoans will qualify for rental assistance. The Board of Canyon County Commissioners opted not to take the federal COVID-19 rental assistance funding last year. Canyon County renters are able to apply for assistance from the state.

The bill that passed the Legislature that authorizes this funding states the Idaho Housing and Finance Association will be the only entity to administer the relief, other than the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority for Ada County residents.

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