DAVE & DUJANOVIC

Struggling to make rent? Uncle Sam is here to help.

Feb 7, 2022, 4:27 PM

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall discusses the state's new rental assistance program. (KSL-TV)...

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall discusses the state's new rental assistance program. (KSL-TV)

(KSL-TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Are you unable to afford your rent in Utah? Is your combined household income at or below 80% of your county’s median income? If you answered yes to those questions, you may qualify for Emergency Rental Assistance. 

According to the Utah Rent Relief, total rental assistance payments total $124,381,183 as of Feb. 7, 2022.

If you receive assistance with rent, you don’t have to pay it back, according to Christina Oliver, Division Director for Housing and Community Development at the Department of Workforce Services.

She joined Dave & Dujanovic to talk about how Utahns who are struggling to make their rent can receive the rental assistance payments for up to 18 months.

“Could this be available to college kids?” host Dave Noriega asked.

“Absolutely. We don’t discriminate between the type of household,” Oliver said. “It can be utilized by any household in the state of Utah.”

Oliver said to avoid a delay in receiving rental assistance due to missing documentation, work with your landlord. Also, have the paperwork to prove your income on an annual basis or monthly basis, such as a bank statement, she advised.

“Work with your landlord to get the needed documentation. It does speed up the process quite a bit,” she said.

Noriega asked if there was an upper limit on rent assistance.

“Say you’re staying in a very expensive home. Say it’s several thousand dollars a month — $3,000, $4,000. Is there a cap where you say, ‘You know what, you’re going to have to downsize’?”

“We work with all households,” Oliver said. “And if their rent is $3,000 or $4,000 a month…  That would be an appropriate amount to pay.”

“Will there be enough money [in rental assistance] if people are listening to this and they want to apply?” Debbie asked.

“Absolutely. We still have quite a bit of money left,” Oliver said. “[But] the longer it takes to get your application material turned into us, the longer it takes to process the application.”

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Struggling to make rent? Uncle Sam is here to help.