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Utah updates rental assistance program during COVID-19 pandemic

FILE: Central 9 Lofts under construction in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.

SALT LAKE CITY — Renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and who are receiving unemployment benefits are now eligible for rental assistance. Previously, only renters who were not receiving unemployment benefits were eligible.

With the $600 weekly unemployment benefit ending, the Utah Department of Workforce Services announced Wednesday they’ve revised qualification requirements for the pandemic housing assistance program.

The $20 million program is aimed at helping renters whose income has been slashed by the pandemic and who have a household income at or below the area median income. Those who qualify for rental assistance can receive up to $2,000 for rent and utility purposes. 

“We continue to adjust the housing assistance program as the landscape of the pandemic changes,” said Jess Peterson, State Housing Programs Manager at the Housing and Community Development Division. “Our goal is to help people stay in their homes and maintain the stability of their families during these hard times.”

Since the program launched in May, it’s helped people in 285 Utah households to stay in their homes with a total of $383,103 in rent and rent-related payments. 

To learn more about eligibility and where to apply, renters are advised to call 2-1-1 to find their local agency. Callers should be aware that there may be wait times, or that they may need to leave a voicemail message so that staff can call them back.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

UtahState Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States