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Help for renters

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If you’re having trouble making rent payments as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, you’re not alone.

Federal, state, and local governments are offering help with housing expenses and avoiding eviction. Find out what this means for you, and what you can do.

Get help paying rent and utilities

Find emergency help if you can’t pay rent and utilities

You can apply for help from state and local organizations.

  • Money can be used to cover back rent and future rent, utilities, and other housing costs during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Payments usually go directly to landlords and utility companies
  • Money may be available to help with moving costs

You or your landlord may be able to apply, depending on where you live.

Get year-round help with utility bills

Contact your local Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) office to get help paying your energy bills.

Take advantage of free housing help

If you’d like help from an expert, contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s housing counseling program.

Call (800) 569-4287 or find a housing counselor

Income recertification can help renters who get help from HUD

If you already get rental help from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and your income has changed, you might qualify for lower rent. Or, you might qualify for a hardship exemption that allows you to skip one or more rent payments.

Ask for "income recertification" through your Public Housing Authority (PHA) or landlord. Do this as soon as possible. The change in rent could apply to unpaid rent.

You can certify your income by email, text, or fax. Be sure to give your landlord or PHA your original signature later. Talk to them to learn how.

Talk to your landlord about alternative rent repayment options

Eviction can be costly and difficult for renters and landlords, and is likely something you'd both prefer to avoid. In addition to applying for emergency rental assistance, now may be the time to start a conversation with your landlord about some alternatives to paying your full rent each month.

Learn about options and how to start the conversation

Take action to avoid eviction

Sign the CDC Declaration and send it to your landlord

You may have the right to stay in your home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) halted most evictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. But, you must take action to use this right.

See the steps to take and get started today

Find other eviction protections

In your area, or in your situation, there could be other ways to make sure you can stay in your rental home.

Know your tenant and debt collection rights

As a renter, you have local, state, and federal rights during the pandemic. These may help you stay in your home.

As a renter, you have:

  • rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
  • state and local renters' rights
  • rights as a domestic violence survivor
  • the right to report a bad landlord
  • the right to report housing discrimination

Learn more about your tenant and debt collection rights

Talk to local expert

This can be a lot to navigate. There are local experts who can help, for free or at a low cost.

Legal help

If your landlord is threatening to evict you, or you need help understanding your rights, talk to a lawyer. You may qualify for free legal aid, based on your income.

Take advantage of free housing help

If you’d like help from a local expert, contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s housing counseling program.

Call 800-569-4287 or find a housing counselor