On July 6th, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs is officially opening its new COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CVERAP), which will provide temporary rental assistance to low- and moderate-income households that have lost income or become unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are the facts that you need to know about this program:
– Applicants may be eligible for up to 6 months of emergency rental assistance.
– The assistance will be capped at the Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA’s) fair market rent standard or the total of the rent, whichever is less.
– All participants will be reviewed after a 3-month interval to see if they still need assistance.
– Any person applying must meet all applicable CVERAP income and eligibility requirements (see below for details).
– You must be eighteen (18) years of age or older to apply, or you must be an emancipated minor.
– Only one (1) pre-application per household will be accepted.
– The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) will extend reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities and any person with limited English proficiency on a case-by-case basis, and will take into consideration the needs of any individual with disabilities or any household without internet access. You can call DCA’s Applicant Service Unit at 609-292-4080, Option 1 or 8, to request an accommodation.

– An online lottery process will be used to select which applying households will receive rent assistance.
– Unfortunately, due to the volume of demand, completion of the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Pre-Application will not guarantee that you will receive funds from the program. However, you do not have to be diagnosed with COVID-19 to be eligible.

Anyone selected for the program must meet the following requirements:

– You must have a gross, annual household income that is at or below the maximum income limits for the county where they will be residing.
– You must be a New Jersey resident and have a valid lease for a unit in New Jersey signed by your landlord.
– Your rent must be current as of March 2020; this program will not assist with arrears.
– You must have seen a substantial reduction in income or become unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
– You must have a lack of assets or savings to pay rent.
– You must be willing to pay a minimum of 30% of your income towards your rent.
– Applicants must have an email address to apply online. You can click the following link to access the application (https://www.waitlistcheck.com/NJ559-2809) which will be available from July 6, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. through July 10, 2020 at 5 p.m.

For more information, dial 609-292-4080 or 551-249-2687. You can also visit the Department of Community Affairs’ website (https://www.nj.gov/dca/), which includes information on the Maximum Income Limits and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for this program.

During the Open Enrollment Period, any person who would require a reasonable accommodation, including any person with limited English proficiency or who does not have internet access, can call 609-292-4080, Option 1 or 8 for assistance.

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