Newark allocates funds for emergency rental assistance

NEWARK, NJ — The city of Newark has partnered with the Newark Housing Authority to provide up to $1,000 in rental assistance support, under the City of Newark’s Emergency Rental Assistance Grant Program, according to a June 19 press release. The grant is funded through a $1 million allocation in local trust and federal funds.

“These are trying times, which have placed unexpected financial pressure on Newark renters and their families,” Mayor Ras Baraka said. “In an effort to support our city’s most vulnerable residents, we have committed these much-needed rental assistance funds to families financially impacted by COVID-19.”

The grant aims to help Newark residents who have experienced loss of income due to decreases in regular working hours, being laid-off or furloughs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency fund will provide up to $1,000 to qualifying residents who fall under the 60 percent threshold of area median income.

More than 9,000 families have started the application process for assistance with housing costs by the grant covering a portion of the rent owed for the past three months. Of that, more than 2,400 successfully completed the application by the June 1 deadline. All awarded applicants will be notified of their successful grant application along with rent payment details within the next two weeks.

“We have a firm commitment to the economic well-being of our community and a pandemic does not change that,” Baraka said.

The Newark Housing Authority was selected to administer the program through a shared services agreement with the city of Newark. So far, the housing authority has approved 400 grants for a total of $265,000 in rental assistance. The agency expects to allocate the remaining rental assistance funds before the end of June.