The City of Boston will more than double the amount of money offered to help vulnerable residents pay rent amid uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic, officials announced Wednesday.
Another $5 million will become available when the next round of applications for the Rental Relief Fund opens Friday, adding to the $3 million with which the fund launched in early April. City officials received 1,600 applications during the first period of eligibility and so far have paid $680,000 in assistance to 210 households.
To qualify for the assistance, a Boston household must have an income at 80% or less of the area median income, which is $90,650 for a family of four. Approved recipients can get up to three months of rental assistance, maxing out at $4,000 for a 12-month period.
"During this challenging time, it is important that we leverage all resources available to ensure the health and safety of our residents, and to keep them stably housed during the COVID-19 public health crisis," Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said. "We know that many Bostonians are struggling, and we know the need for assistance with housing payments remains, which is why we are proud to make available this additional funding for households who otherwise would be unable to make their rent payments."
City officials will prioritize applicants who are ineligible for unemployment insurance or do not receive the full amount. Applications for the latest round will become available at 12 p.m. Friday in seven languages and will be due by Friday, June 19.