RentHelpMN Application Portal Closure Leaves Minnesotans in Need
PRESS STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE MINNESOTA ERASE CAMPAIGN
Minnesota Housing has announced, as of Tuesday January 25, that the deadline for applications to RentHelpMN is January 28, 2022, at 9:00 pm. RentHelpMN is closing due to lack of ongoing funds. We are concerned that RentHelpMN is closed to application as many Minnesotans remain in dire need, in the dead of winter, with a continuing COVID-19 pandemic. We urge the Governor and Legislature to appropriate funds for emergency housing assistance to ensure housing stability for Minnesota families; without continued funding, the number of Minnesotans facing displacement, eviction, and even homelessness will escalate.
Of note is that RentHelpMN’s closure precedes the planned bi-partisan approved eviction off-ramp, that included protections for renter households from eviction for non-payment of rent until June 1, 2022, as long as they had an application pending at RentHelpMN or similarly-funded local programs.
The pandemic has affected Minnesotans disproportionately; while many have felt a strain on health and income, Black, Indigenous, and people of color have suffered the effects of Covid-19 the most. The ERASE campaign urges lawmakers to pass emergency rental assistance as soon as the legislative session begins.
The abrupt depletion of federal emergency assistance through RentHelpMN, a state program that has assisted tens of thousands of Minnesota households remain stably housed through a pandemic and economic turmoil, underscores the importance of emergency housing assistance for Minnesotans as well as implementing a universal rental assistance program.
The Minnesota ERASE Campaign (End Rental Arrears and Stop Evictions) is an effort to ensure that the historic aid enacted by Congress reaches the lowest-income and most marginalized renters it is intended to help. Co-conveners of the campaign include ACER (African Career Education Resource); Housing Justice Center, and MHP (Minnesota Housing Partnership).
African Career Education & Resources, Inc (ACER) is an issue-based African organization working to end disparities within the African immigrant and African heritage community in Minnesota. For over 13 years, ACER has led in advancing equity in our community through organizing, education and advocating for policies that will result in equitable outcomes in our communities. ACER serves as a Field Partner of the RENTHelpMN program to expand access through outreach and navigation support to the most impacted community members in need of rental assistance.
Housing Justice Center (HJC) is a nonprofit public interest advocacy and legal organization, founded in 1999 as the Housing Preservation Project, whose primary mission is to preserve and expand affordable housing for low-income individuals and families. HJC attorneys work with tenant and advocacy organizations, public and private housing funders, owners, developers, and policy makers in their efforts to protect and expand affordable housing. Based in Minnesota, HJC works nationwide.
Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) expands housing and community development opportunity for those most impacted by economic and racial disparities by leading collaborative work to promote systems change and grow equitable development capacity. For more than 30 years, MHP has accomplished this mission by producing data-informed research, advocating for equitable housing policy, and providing community development services across the US.