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$1.6M COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program Announced

Updated: Oct 21

via City of Lawrence


Mayor Daniel Rivera with Congresswoman Lori Trahan, Community Development Director, Vilma Martinez-Dominguez, and the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council (GLCAC) announces the rollout of $1,664,754 for a program to provide emergency rental assistance to low income Lawrence residents who are housing insecure as a direct result of the COVID 19 pandemic. The program will have two tracks one focused on assisting residents with back-owed rent and another focused on re-housing that will provide funds for first and last month’s rent, security deposits, and up to three months of rental assistance.


“These funds come at a critical time to help provide much needed housing and financial stability to many of our residents who are struggling to keep up with their rent, or worse yet, those who are living in overcrowded housing or find themselves on the street because they’ve been rendered homeless because of job loss or COVID sickness,” said Mayor Daniel Rivera. “We understand the impact that this pandemic has had on the families in our community and are doing everything in our power to create safety nets during this time, this week I plan on proposing a six-month extension of the current eviction moratorium. This program along with the eviction moratorium extension will hopefully create the support residents need as they work to get back on their feet and weather this crisis.”


“When I cast my vote for the CARES Act, I did it knowing that families struggling with homelessness, or at risk of becoming homeless in Lawrence and communities across the Third District, were depending on federal assistance to keep them housed and safe as we navigate this pandemic. As we head into the winter months and many eviction restrictions expire, this funding could not come at a more critical time. But there’s no question that more help is needed, and the most vulnerable families in our communities are relying on additional relief from Washington. They can’t wait until after the election, and they shouldn’t have to,” said Congresswoman Lori Trahan.


The City of Lawrence will be partnering with the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council (GLCAC), who will be administering the funds with a target on Housing Stabilization, Rapid Re-housing and Homelessness Prevention for individuals and families who meet HUD’s income eligibility guidelines. Applications may be dropped at the drop box located at 305 Essex Street, emailed to esgcovid@glcac.org, via fax at 978-681-4948, or mailed to GLCAC Attn: Housing, 305 Essex Street, Lawrence, Ma 01841. All completed applications will be logged on the day they are received.


Evelyn Friedman, Executive Director of Greater Lawrence Community Action Council stated "Because of unemployment and income loss caused by the pandemic, many lower income families are on the verge of losing their housing. In partnership with Mayor Rivera and the City of Lawrence, we will be preventing homelessness by helping people make their payments. Without action now, the economic hardships caused by the pandemic will be compounded by a preventable increase in homelessness."


“We understand that these funds may not provide long-term support to individuals and families in need, but by linking them to GLCAC, we’re providing them with an opportunity to receive housing stabilization and case management support and connecting them to other community resources and benefits they may be eligible for, while helping them develop a plan to increase their housing stability,” concluded Vilma Martinez-Dominguez, Community Development Director.


Applicants must meet HUD’s income eligibility guidelines for emergency rental assistance, and provide supporting documentation to verify income eligibility and loss of income. Payments will be made directly to landlords on behalf of program participants. Funds will be available until depleted.


This program is funded by the CARES Act Emergency Solutions Grant-COVID 19 (ESG-CV) through the Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)


Track I:


Assistance Amount: Up to $7,000


The program will provide rental assistance to eligible individuals/families who are verified as low-income (up to 50% Area Median Income), according to HUD. This one time temporary short-medium term financial assistance includes payment for back owed rent beginning March 10th, 2020, for up to six (6) months and/or new rental payments capped at $7,000 per household. Additional funds may be awarded for emergency rental assistance on a case by case basis, based on the household’s critical financial needs and funding availability.


Additional funds may be awarded for emergency rental assistance on a case by case basis, based on the household’s critical financial needs and funding availability.


Track II:


Assistance Amount: Up to $6,000


The program will provide financial assistance to homeless* individuals/families who are extremely low-income (up to 30% Area Median Income*), and who are homeless or at risk of homeless as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds are capped at $6,000 per individual/household. Funds can be used toward first, last, security deposit, and up to three months of rental assistance. Realtor fees are counted towards the $6,000 capped amount for rapid re-housing.


How to Apply: Applications will be available effective October 19, 2020. Completed application with supporting documentation will be accepted on a first come first serve basis. The application can be found online at: www.glcac.org/departments/Housing-Assistance.html . Physical copies are also available.


All applicants will be assigned a number. Applications will be processed in the order they are received at 305 Essex Street.


For information about this program or to complete an application, please contact Annmary Connor at Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, at 978-620-4993 or via email at esgcovid@glcac.org.



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