What Landlords Should Know About The Zero Balance Project: Emergency Rental Assistance
The counties of Dakota, Hennepin, and Ramsey, and the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are providing emergency rental assistance to people who are struggling to pay rent. Landlords with struggling tenants could consider submitting an application for The Zero Balance Project, which opened for applications on June 7 and will close on June 20 (or until funds run out).
Other programs, like RentHelpMN, serve a similar purpose as The Zero Balance Project but are statewide. If you are a property manager/owner whose renter has completed an application through RentHelpMN, then it is recommended you remain with that service. It is important to note that renters can only receive assistance from one program in a given month.
Regardless of program used, currently, renters are only able to receive a total of 15 months of rental assistance from all rental assistance programs; however, this is expected to change to 18 months soon. Each organization requires a separate application, thus property managers/owners need to start a new application if they would like to apply to The Zero Balance Project.
Landlords need to be prepared to provide a completed W9, fully copy of lease, property tax statement (providing where your property is located), rent ledger showing unpaid rent, a notice from the housing authority (if renter pays rent with help of an income-base subsidy), and the renter’s email address.
Under the Zero Balance Project, there are no limits on the maximum amount a landlord can apply for each unit. Landlords do have the ability to apply for prospective future rent, and renters should not be concerned about the impact this will have on other assistance/benefits they receive. It is important to note that renters must complete their part of the application after the landlord. Upon completion, a check will be mailed to the address provided by the landlord within 14 days. The applications are prioritized on a first come, first served basis through June 20. There are a few exceptions, for example, applications where renter household income is at or below 50%.
This is a great opportunity for landlords who have renters struggling to make payments on time. For more information, check out: https://housinglink.org/List/emergency-rental-assistance.