Income-eligible Essex County residents can apply for emergency rental assistance from Oct. 2-23

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced that Essex County has set aside $5.5 million to create the Essex County Coronavirus Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The program will provide a grant to help income-eligible residents pay their rent during the Coronavirus pandemic who are experiencing homelessness. Applications can be made by visiting:

https://portal.neighborlysoftware.com/essexcountynj/participant

There is a limited time to submit applications; the website will be open from October 2nd to October 23rd.

“The economic impact of the coronavirus has made it difficult for some households to maintain their housing during the pandemic. Our Emergency Rental Assistance Program will help eligible residents pay up to six months of their rent and help them quickly exit homelessness during these uncertain times and benefits landlords who will receive rental payments so they can pay for property taxes and other expenses,” DiVincenzo said.

“The leadership of our county has implemented programs and initiatives, in a multitude of areas, to assist Essex County residents throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, we aim to provide financial relief that will assist in keeping families together and in their homes during this unprecedented time,” Freeholder President Brendan Gill said.

“The possibility of county residents losing their homes due to financial losses brought on by the coronavirus pandemic is a pressing concern. I am proud of the success of our Food Distribution Events and COVID-19 Satellite testing locations, and I am confident our Emergency Rental Assistance Program will be just as impactful in helping residents stay in their homes,” Freeholder Vice President Wayne Richardson said.

Residents can apply for up to six (6) months of rental assistance. When they visit https://portal.neighborlysoftware.com/essexcountynj/participant, residents will be asked to complete a short questionnaire and will be required to demonstrate why they are unable to pay their rent or provide proof of an impending eviction. Residents also must provide documentation of household income to confirm they meet certain income eligibility guidelines established by the Federal government.

The willing participation of the landlord is necessary for the application and the landlord must verify he or she will accept payment from Essex County. Residents and landlords also must affirm that funding assistance has not been received from other sources that would create a duplication of benefits. When an application is approved, the payment will be made directly to the landlord.

Essex County is funding the Coronavirus Emergency Rental Assistance Program with grants from the Community Development Block Grant and Emergency Solutions Grant programs.

Essex County already has an established program to assist homeowners who are having difficulty meeting their mortgage obligations. If a homeowner needs assistance, they can contact the East Orange Community Development Corporation at 973-266-5315 or the Montclair Salvation Army at 973-744-3312.