City of New Orleans announces expansion of rental assistance program

City of New Orleans announces expansion of rental assistance program
For Rent sign - generic graphic (Source: WAFF)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -Mayor Cantrell’s office Wednesday announced an expansion of its rental assistance program with the recent allocation of funding from the State and Federal government.

The City of New Orleans received a direct initial allocation of $11.6 million from the U.S. Treasury to provide rental assistance. The City is expecting an additional $14 million from the State of Louisiana for rental assistance.

This program will go live on Feb. 15, 2021 and will begin taking applications through its NOLA Ready website -- https://ready.nola.gov -- as well as in person. People can also call (504) 658-4200 to apply and for any questions.

The following are a list of qualifications in order to apply for the program:

· Families earning 60% or below of the area median income (AMI)

· Assistance can cover up to 12 months of back rent and three months of future rent payments under limited circumstances

· Landlords that accept these funds will not be able to evict tenants for 180 days without good cause

The following are frequently asked questions and answers about the program:

*This FAQ will be posted to ready.nola.gov and updated pending federal updates from the U.S. Treasury.

Does the money go to renters or landlords?

In almost all circumstances, the payment will go directly to landlords. Federal rules provide that if a landlord chooses to refuse to participate in the program, a renter can still apply, however.

What is the time period?

The program launches Feb. 15 and will be live until funding runs out.

As a landlord, does this mean I can’t ever evict tenants that are covered under this program?

Landlords that accept these funds will not be able to evict tenants for non-payment of rent for 90 days. Exceptions include illegal activity or abandonment. Landlords that accept these funds will not be able to evict tenants without good cause for 180 days. Good cause means something the tenant did or failed to do, including nonpayment of rent (should the moratorium expire), other lease violations, criminal activity, property damage, and activity that threatens the health, safety, or peaceful possession of others.

Can landlords apply directly?

Yes

Do undocumented people qualify for assistance?

There is nothing barring undocumented people from qualifying for assistance.

What about landlords who are in danger of foreclosure?

Landlords who have missed a payment or are concerned about foreclosure should immediately contact free, HUD certified housing counseling by dialing (800) 569-4287 and may apply for assistance through the Small Landlord Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

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