How to Prepare for Your Application for Emergency Rental Assistance

Mom and son by lake The Montana Emergency Rental Assistance program will provide rent and utility assistance to Montanans who have been financially impacted, directly or indirectly, by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Renters will be able to apply directly for rent and utility assistance, and landlords will be able to apply on behalf of renters with the renter’s co-signature and required documentation.

Renters will need to provide income documentation to verify program eligibility. To streamline the application review process, we recommend renters file their 2020 tax return now and have that document available to submit when the program opens for applications.

The program is still being developed, but you can begin preparing for your application using the information below.

For Renters

  1. Check your eligibility. To be eligible for rental or utility assistance:
    • Your household income cannot exceed 80 percent of the area median income. Check the area median income where you live here: 
    • You or someone in your household must have experienced income loss, financial hardship, qualified for unemployment benefits, or incurred significant costs due directly or indirectly to COVID-19
    • Be able to show that you are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability. For example, if you have received a past due rent notice or eviction notice or if you are experiencing unsafe or unhealthy living conditions.
  2. Gather your application materials, including:
    • Lease Agreement
    • Demonstration of need:
      • A late rent or eviction notice
      • Utility bill, late payment notice or shut off notice
    • Income documentation:
      • 2020 IRS tax return
      • Documentation of all household member income sources for the most recent two months, which may include:
        • Paystubs for wages earned for the past two months
        • Most recent Social Security or pension award letter
        • TANF statement
        • Unemployment insurance benefit statement
        • Evidence of child support income for the past two months
        • Self-employment 2020- Schedule C or profit and loss statement
        • Documentation of other income for the past two months

For Landlords

Tags: Montana Housing, Community Development Division, COVID-19 and Emergency Rental Assistance Program