CFPB Releases Online Tool to Help Renters and Landlords Access Federal Assistance

New resource helps renters and landlords find state and local programs distributing federal rental assistance funds

tenantsWASHINGTON, D.C. — July 28, 2021: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released an online tool to help renters and landlords impacted by the pandemic easily find and apply for payment assistance for rent, utilities and other expenses. The Rental Assistance Finder, available at www.consumerfinance.gov/renthelp, connects renters and landlords with the state and local programs that are distributing billions of dollars in federal assistance nationwide to help renters stay housed during the pandemic.

“Millions of people are behind on their rent and at risk of eviction as a result of the pandemic,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “The Rental Assistance Finder will make it easier for renters and landlords to locate the financial assistance available in their area. People across the country are already receiving billions of dollars in assistance, and with this new tool we hope even more renters and landlords will take advantage of this emergency relief. This money is a win-win for both landlords and renters and a better outcome for all than costly, needless evictions.”

The CFPB will conduct a demonstration of the Rental Assistance Finder tool via Webex.  Below are the details:

According to a CFPB analysis of Census Household Pulse Survey data from June 23–July 5, 16 percent of adults living in households who rent said they are currently behind on their payments. Of adults living in households behind on rent, 49 percent, or approximately 3.6 million of them say that eviction in the next two months is somewhat or very likely.

As part of an unprecedented economic recovery effort, the federal government has allocated more than $46 billion to assist households unable to pay rent, utilities, and other housing costs. All 50 states and hundreds of local, tribal, and other programs are distributing funds. The CFPB’s Rental Assistance Finder tool will make it easier for renters and landlords to connect with rental assistance programs in their area, and take the first steps toward accessing available funds.

tenantsThe CFPB is working closely with partners across the federal government to provide homeowners and renters the resources they need, including information to understand their rights and protections. Along with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Treasury, Veterans Affairs, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the CFPB has created consumerfinance.gov/housing, which serves as the federal government’s one-stop, go-to resource for up-to-date information on relief options, protections, and key deadlines.

The CFPB has taken other actions to support renters during COVID-19, including a joint statement with then-FTC Acting Chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter promising to monitor illegal eviction activity, an interim final rule detailing illegal debt collection practices in connection with evictions during the pandemic, and a bulletin explaining Fair Credit Reporting Act obligations related to the reporting of rental and eviction information during the pandemic, including particularly the treatment of rental assistance payments.

Access the Rental Assistance Finder

MUSINGS BY DIANE:

evictionTenants and Landlords are facing extreme financial difficulties as a result of COVID.  What is surprising is that millions of dollars of assistance is going unused.  These are federal funds that are available for the tenant and landlord, but few are taking advantage of those monies to stave off eviction. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  But, be careful about who you ask for help.  There are thousands of scams, so don’t rely on someone who professes to be your savior.  Don’t respond to someone to contacts you, instead, contact your local, state or federal governments to ask about resources.  Take the time to determine the best solution that works in the long run, not for just today.  Once armed with good information, then use your common sense to decide what is best for you.

– Diane L. Drain
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