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NJ Human Services Unveils New Program to Help Residents Pay Housing Costs Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

New COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program Can Help Pay Housing Costs for New Jersey Residents Unable to Make Payments Due to COVID-19; Households Can Get Help to Pay Overdue and Upcoming Rent or Mortgage

 

Oct. 9, 2020

 

(TRENTON) –  New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson today announced eligible New Jersey residents can now get help to pay back or current housing costs if they have been unable to make payments due to the ongoing pandemic.  Applications for the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program are now open and assistance is applicable for unpaid rent or mortgage costs from March through December 2020.

The new $12 million program will provide rental or mortgage assistance payments on behalf of eligible households that have suffered a financial hardship due to COVID-19 and aren’t eligible for or have not received other housing assistance for the same time period.  Funding is provided through the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Examples of financial hardships include loss of income, reduced hours at work, being unable to work due to being high-risk or having to quarantine or isolate, and being unable to work due to a child’s remote learning.

“Home has become even more important to us all as we work together to keep our families safe and combat this pandemic.  Yet the stability of home is threatened for far too many New Jersey families who are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage in the face of COVID-related job loss, sickness or other financial hardship,” Commissioner Johnson said. “With our new COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program, we are aiming to help hard-hit families catch up on their rent or mortgage payments to help folks stay in their homes.”

Eligible households must earn less than 450 percent of the federal poverty level, or $57,420 for single individuals, $117,900 for a family of four and $158,220 for a family of six. Households can visit nj.gov/humanservices/covid19housingassistance/ to check their eligibility under the federal poverty guidelines and submit an application.

Under the new program, eligible households can receive assistance for back and upcoming rent or mortgage from March through December by submitting an online application on the website.

Applications for the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program will be processed until funding is exhausted or no later than December 18, whichever happens sooner.

Households that apply will need to submit documentation to show that they meet the income requirement and were unable to pay their rent or mortgage due to COVID-19. Documentation may include two recent pay stubs, an employer letter, proof of receiving unemployment insurance benefits or bank statements. Applicants will also need proof of a current lease or rental agreement or mortgage information, and a letter from their landlord documenting their pay history and status.

Under the program, payments will be issued directly to the landlord or mortgage company for eligible costs.

 

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HomeCare Options provides professionally supervised health and social services that may include nursing, social work, homemaker/home health aide service and housekeeping to the elderly, ill and disabled individuals in their homes.

 Link to Home Health Aid Training Classes Flyer:

https://homecareoptions.com/event/certified-home-health-aides-training-and-hiring/

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Mass Media Campaign to Reduce Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

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Applications for Section 8 are being accepted for residents of the following towns:

Bloomingdale, Haledon, Haskell, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Pompton Lakes, Prospect Park, Ringwood, Totowa, Wanaque/Haskell, Wayne, West Milford, Woodland Park

Applications are available at the Passaic County Human Services Department, 401 Grand Street, Room 506.  Applications can also be obtained by calling 973-881-4369, or online at www.passaiccountynj.org/housing

Applications must be mailed to :
Passaic County Public Housing Agency
100 Hamilton Plaza, Suite 510
Paterson, NJ 07505
Applications must be postmarked by May 4, 2018.

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New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice

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Payment Assistance Programs

Comcast Announces Nationwide Internet Program that Targets Low-Income Families, Enrolling 1 Million to Date

Low Income Families with a child who receives free or reduced lunch at school, live in public housing, or, in some parts of the country, senior citizens may be eligible for a less expensive alternative to internet services nationwide.

In the Philadelphia are, one of the nation’s most expensive for web access, 31,000 families have signed up through the Internet Essentials program, which gives families high-speed broadband access for $9.95 a month, a fraction of the commercial rate.  The program allows (them to purchase a computer for under $150 (in some states) .

To sign up visit: www.internetEssentials.com  or call 1-855-846-8376, or call 1-855-765-6995.

Low-Income Programs

 
Program Name LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)
Description LIHEAP helps very low-income eligible residential customers pay their winter heating and cooling bills. You may qualify even if your heat is included in the rent. To be eligible to receive a financial grant, your household income cannot exceed the amounts allowed in the following household income table.  LIHEAP also can assist with emergency heating system services and emergency financial assistance during a specific time of the year.

The LIHEAP program is currently closed but will start taking applications again on October 1, 2017.

How to Apply
For more information
   
Program Name NJ Universal Service Fund (USF)
Description The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities created the Universal Service Fund (USF), which helps make energy bills more affordable for low-income customers. If you’re eligible, USF can lower the amount you have to pay for your gas and electric bills.
How to Apply *USF accepts applications all year.

*Note: once application is completed, it must be mailed or delivered to the Intake Agency in your county.

For more information

 

 

Moderate-Income Programs

Program Name Temporary Relief for Utility Expenses (TRUE) & Payment Assistance Gas and Electric (PAGE)
Description The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities provided funding has provided funding to  the Affordable Housing Alliance (AHA) for two grants, both intended for low- to moderate-income New Jersey residents who are struggling to pay their electric and natural gas bills. They are Temporary Relief for Utility Expenses (TRUE) and the Payment Assistance Gas and Electric  (PAGE).  Up to $750/utility is available under each program, depending on the balance owed.
How to Apply Click here for program eligibility requirements and how to apply.
For more information
   
Program Name NJ SHARES
Description NJ SHARES has funds available for PSE&G customers who are behind on their utility bills

New Jersey SHARES, Inc. is an energy-assistance program that assists moderate income households who do not qualify for federal or state energy programs such as LIHEAP and/or USF and whose income does not exceed 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. Each client fills out an electronic application with the assistance of a local community-based organization or can apply online. New Jersey SHARES partners with more than 200 organizations statewide.

Eligibility is determined by income and household size. Applicants must demonstrate a temporary financial need and made a good-faith payment of $100 or more within 90 days of applying for NJ SHARES. New Jersey SHARES maximum grant was increased to $1,200. Customer can received grants up to $700 for gas and $500 for electric service. Customers heating with electric can received up to $700 on their electric heat account.

Grants are available all year.  Grants must result in continuance and/or restoration of service.

To donate or apply for the New Jersey SHARES program, please call toll-free 1-866-NJSHARES (1-866-657-4273) or visit www.njshares.org

How to Apply
For more information
  • Visit the NJ SHARES website.
  • Call 1-866-NJSHARES (657- 4273).

Seniors/Disabled Adults

   
Program Name NJ Lifeline Credit Program
Description NJ Lifeline is a $225 yearly credit for your electric or gas bill. You must be a New Jersey resident; 65 years of age or older or 18 years of age or older and receiving Social Security Title II Disability benefits. Your annual income (not the household income), effective January 1, 2017 is less than $26,655 if single or less than $32,680 if married.
How to Apply
  • Click here to download an application.
  • Write to NJ Lifeline, P.O. Box 715, Trenton, NJ 08625-0714 for an application.
  • Pick up an application from one of PSE&G’s 16 walk-in Customer Service Centers.
  • Mail completed applications to:  NJ Dept of Human Services/Revenue Processing Center – PAAD/NJ Lifeline Program, PO Box 637, Trenton, NJ 08625-9826.
For more information