MINOT, ND - Those in North Dakota who may be struggling to pay their rent due to COVID-19 could be getting some help from the state.
With some jobs closed and many others cutting employee hours due to the coronavirus, the North Dakota Department of Human Services said there is a definite need in the community.
The North Dakota COVID Emergency Rent Bridge program gives temporary assistance to renters economically impacted by COVID-19.
"We're finding people who are applying for the Rent Bridge have unfilled needs and so we are hoping this can help them save their family house," said Family Stability and Community Inclusion Policy Director Jessica Thomasson.
Anyone making 60% or less of their area's median income with a lease they are struggling to pay due to COVID can apply.
The program is only a few weeks old but Thomasson said they have already seen hundreds of applicants.
“So far, we have had more than 450 households across North Dakota apply, and we've seen applications come from all over the state, from every region,” said Thomasson.
The temporary program will pay up to 70% of the lease for up to three months. Thomasson said the goal is to help residents get through this time and prevent them from spiraling into crisis.
"We know if you lose your housing often times you are thrown into homelessness in a housing crisis in the past when you’re not in a pandemic you may have gone to live with friends or family but even that practice has become more complicated during the pandemic,” said Thomasson.
Thomasson said they are working to make sure the program is available through the summer.
The Department of Human Services is working with Community Action, Salvation Army, and other community partners to make sure renters get aware of their options.
For more information on eligibility, and rent limits, visit the North Dakota Department of Human Service website.