RHA says money still available for those behind on their rent

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 3:47 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Rental prices here in the Truckee Meadows are sky high. It’s tough for many people who have a job to make the monthly payment.

Imagine what would happen if you were suddenly laid off.

“It’s quite a bit of savings we burned through rapidly,” says one local resident named Justin who was told the layoff would last 16 weeks.

Justin says for a time his pride got the better of him. And he was unaware of the Cares Housing Assistant Program. Through social media he found out he could get help paying for this rent, if the inability to pay is based on COVID. In his case supply chains basically shut down the worksite as there was no material to do the work.

After filling out forms and going to justice court in Reno, he was able to get back on track with rental management.

“It’s just amazing. It’s such a stress reliever. It just helps us out so much,” he says.

The CHAP program has so far helped 3,000 people locally just like Jason who because of COVID has fallen behind on rental payments. It can also help with utility or even garbage collection payments past due.

Thus far the program has paid out $30,000,000 locally, $9,000,000 remains which can be used into 2022 on families who have hit tough times.

“It could be anything from I directly lost my employment from COVID 19,” says Heidi McKendree Executive Director of the Reno Housing Authority. “The business owner was no longer able to keep their doors open. And they closed and I lost my job. So, now I can’t pay my rent. Or it could be I myself got COVID and wasn’t able to work for three weeks,” she says.

McKendree says paperwork needs to be filled out to see if a renter qualifies for the program. And the money will be paid directly to the landlord or utility who is owed the money. Keep in mind the reason for arrears must be COVID related.

In more complicated cases renters and property owners come down to Justice Court to help settle back payments. But the process can be much easier if renters get involved in the system sooner.

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