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Salt Lake City is giving out money to help people pay their rent

Photo: Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City has announced a $1 million grant program to help people pay their rent. 

Mayor Erin Mendenhall unveiled the rental assistance initiative during a news conference in front of the City and County Building on Thursday. 

She said the grants do not need to be paid back, and they can be used for back rent as well. 

“It’s available to renters in Salt Lake City regardless of your documentation status,” Mendenhall said. 

The city decided to fund the program as people wait for another federal COVID-19 aid package. 

“You can apply for this assistance even if you are not eligible for the federal stimulus dollars,” Mendenhall said.  

Tony Milner with the Salt Lake City’s Housing and Neighborhood Development department believes keeping people in their homes will also help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

That’s because it’s easier for people to quarantine at home than out in the cold or in a homeless shelter.

“Housing stability is so important right now to either keep people in their current housing,” Milner said. “Or, if they’re experiencing homelessness, get them back into a housing situation as soon as possible.” 

Sahil Oberoi with Utah Community Action says more people than ever need help paying rent.

“Due to this pandemic, we’re seeing individuals that have needed rent assistance for the very first time. We’re seeing folks who have let go from the airline industry…that worked at banks and software companies,” Oberoi said. 

People who want to apply for the rental assistance grant are encouraged to go to Utah Community Action’s website: utahca.org