FILE - CT homes, housing

A row of residences is seen near Wooster Square in New Haven, Connecticut.

(The Center Square) – Connecticut has distributed $73 million in Emergency Rental Assistance to struggling renters and landlords, the U.S. Treasury Department reported this week.

In a visit to the state, Wally Adeyemo, deputy secretary of the Treasury, met with Gov. Ned Lamont, U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn., and Connecticut Housing Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno and local officials to discuss the program in an effort to encourage families to enroll.

The program is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the state’s Department of Housing.

The Treasury Office in a news release said the program “has seen significant improvement after adopting additional Treasury’s flexibilities and increasing its community outreach efforts.”

The program has issued assistance to 13,341 struggling tenants and landlords, the release said.

The UniteCT program provides up to $15,000 rental and up to $1,500 electricity payment assistance on behalf of households that are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization said on its website.

Tenants and landlords are able to use the UniteCT Rent Relief website to submit their own applications.

The program covers arrears accrued since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020, and reimburses landlords for 100% of missed rent payments. Tenants are also protected from eviction for nonpayment of rent during those months of missed payments.

Those wishing to take advantage of the program must register on the website and receive an email invitation to start the application. Paper applications are not accepted.

The Department of Housing also lists the 211 Info Line on its website, providing information on how homeowners and renters can protect themselves amid the pandemic.

According to information posted on the state’s Department of Housing website, the total amount of assistance may not exceed 12 months, but under extenuating circumstances the program may be extended three additional months.

To qualify for the program, the applicant must be a permanent or primary resident of Connecticut, demonstrate a need for assistance prior to or at the time of application and submit any necessary supporting documentation, such as bills.

Associate Editor

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.