State officials on Monday announced a new program that will offer rent and utility assistance to eligible households affected by COVID-19.

The program, called UniteCT, offers up to $10,000 in rental assistance and up to $1,500 in electric utility payments to landlords and utility companies on behalf of approved tenants. Tenants and landlords will be able to apply and track applications online. Aid will also be available through a call center and at housing counseling agencies and other community partners.

The program will be funded by the $235 million appropriated to the state for emergency rental and utility assistance in December’s stimulus package. The American Rescue Plan passed last week also included funding for rental and homeowner assistance.

“UniteCT provides Connecticut tenants and landlords a much-needed fresh start and further assistance so our families can get back on their feet without worrying about the roof over their heads,” Governor Ned Lamont said in a statement. “The pandemic exacerbated a national housing affordability crisis, especially for families of color who are more likely to rent their homes and more likely to have missed payments through no fault of their own. I applaud Connecticut’s Congressional delegation and the Biden-Harris administration for providing the resources required to keep our families safely housed.”

These programs will not only prevent the threat of eviction for tenants but also support landlords affected by the pandemic.

The state will also provide funding for legal support for those who need help in housing court.

The governor is also proposing a bill that would provide prospective tenants more information about energy costs.

To apply for UniteCT, click here.

Resources for homeowners struggling to make mortgage payments or facing foreclosure are available through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Source: www.nbcconnecticut.com

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