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Need rental assistance? Check out these tenant assistance services

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Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a temporary order to stop evictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, this federal eviction moratorium had been extended several times, and on August 3, the CDC extended it again for counties where COVID cases are rapidly spreading. On August 26, 2021, the moratorium ended for everyone. Unless there is a local, state or county moratorium, renters now face the possibility of eviction if they still owe back rent. And on top of that, scammers can take advantage of the panic caused by this situation.

How might they do that? Scammers reach out to renters facing eviction, promising rental assistance and pretending to be with the government. When they contact renters, they ask for bank account and other personal information, saying that they need this information so they can transfer emergency rental assistance money directly into these accounts. But instead of depositing much-needed funds, they use the information to withdraw the little that’s left.

If you’re a renter facing eviction, there are several sites and services available to you:

  • Connect with state and local organizations that are distributing federal rental assistance in their communities by visiting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) new Rental Assistance Finder.
  • Check with your local court system for more details about the eviction process and your rights as a tenant. You may also qualify for free legal services through your local legal aid organization.

Remember, never give out financial or personal information to anyone who contacts you, even if they’re promising to help you. Federal aid for emergency rental assistance was distributed to states, territories, and other localities. If someone contacts you saying they’re from the federal government and they can help you with back rent, it’s a sign of a scam.

These government services aren't just for tenants. If you’re a landlord facing a loss of rental income, the CFPB also has useful information on their Help for landlords page.

And if you spot a rental assistance scam or any other type of scam, tell your state attorney general’s office right away, and then report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

Note: This post was updated on 9/2/2021 with the date the moratorium ended.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit
Scam Tags:  Rental & Housing Scams

Comments

Here , they are toooo busy, & do not return phone calls, etc, Waiting list are 2-3 years. NO resources to help.

Is there rental assistance for me? I am living on SS only. My rent is 80% of that income. I am struggling every month NOT to miss my rent payment. I have no phone and conserve on utilities and food. I am enrolled in those programs and get that help. Not enough to get me through the month. Only the people not paying their rent are getting help?

Appreciate the information, I passed this on to those I know whom are in dire straights (even when they are working F/T).

I'm right there with you. The government well aware of the impossible SSI/ssa, earnings is really below the poverty line now, prior to COVID-19 many of us were on the poverty line. I was a stay at home mom till my daughter went into junior high, than I went to work and built a career. An accident out me on disability and recovery to the point of being self-sufficient become impossible.

The County I live in will not update my status to disabled. The only information I can receive from HUD is it will take up to 5 years. My rent to income ratio is way out of balance. 4.5 years ago I breezed right through the process but was denied any kind of help because even though I live in the same county they don't have any section 8 properties here. She refused to explain what other programs I would qualify for and was very sharp with me, telling me she was removing my name permanently. I am disabled, no vehicle and know nobody to take me again to their office which is a 90 minute drive.
For 4.5 years I have had no response to my phone calls yet other people in my complex receive help.
I has since reapplied but I am unfamiliar what different programs are available. Can you assist me in Kern County, California

Go to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau site for link to the Housing Authority of Kern County or all (661) 578-5339 for the Rent and Utility Assistance Program. The Kern County site tells you who is eligible for assistance and how to apply.

California also has a state COVID-19 rental relief program. You can check to see if you are eligible for help on that site, and apply on that site. Or call  833-430-2122.

I've got no income and I've become homeless during this virus... I'm "living" in a car. I've got my little dog, and he's my Life. Is there Any help for us? I've got no phone but I'm still trying to find work that I can do with this debilitating social anxiety I've suffered with most of my life... I've applied for section 8 but I realize I'm at the bottom of the bottom of the list. I'm in the Waterloo Iowa area.. I'm afraid out here, and I've got no idea what to do.
If you can help me with my situation, I'd appreciate it beyond words! Thank you so much!

You can follow the link in this blog to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau information about rental assistance in Iowa. To find out if you are eligible for free legal help, apply at IowaLegalAid.org or call 1-800-532-1275. 

If you have questions about the Rent and Utility Program in Iowa, call the Housing Recovery Support Team at 515-348-8813 or 855-300-5885.

You may also want to call the Area Agency on Aging in Waterloo at 319-874-6840 to ask about other local support. 

Laws and "moratoriums" mean absolutely nothing. My landlord of 10 1/2 years came to my home while I was at work and illegally drilled the lock off my door and changed the lock. There was NO recourse other than suing her. She had no right and no legal papers to evict me, but it did not matter. Renters HAVE no rights or protections.

I live in Ct, and there are very little section 8 properties. I called the 3 housing authorities around to see how to get on the list but you can't until it opens, it is a very confusing system. I have been sick for a little longer than 2 years along with 2 different surgeries, radiation and blood transfusion during this covid time. I have been living on the front porch at a friend's house with my son whom stays with me half time but I can't do that again this winter. It gets very cold. How to get techinical help with the section 8 system and help with housing for us.

If they ask for money it's a scam. Shut them down immediately.

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