In a move that will help relieve financial pressure for some, Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday announced that $100 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will be used as housing assistance for Minnesotans.
Walz said stable housing is an issue throughout Minnesota's 87 counties, adding that the federal funding, which is expected to become available by mid-August, will help ease some of the financial burden renters face, especially those who've been relying on the extra $600/week in unemployment insurance from the federal government.
Those $600 payments will stop after July 25, meaning making rent/mortgage payments on top of other monthly bills could become even more difficult if not impossible for thousands of Minnesotans.
"We know that it [stable housing] has been under threat, it was prior to COVID-19 and it certainly is now," said Walz. "We are deeply concerned that the federal boost to unemployment insurance is expiring next week, and that will come into play the following month, which will be September 1 when rent will be due."
Walz said the money will be available starting about the middle of August, though the application process won't be available to Minnesotans until "the first part of August," a release from Walz's office said.
It's not clear just yet what it takes to qualify for a piece of the $100 million.
Minnesota's COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program website says that "Up to $100,000,000 may be available to assist households that have been impacted by COVID-19 through unemployment, illness, or other COVID-19 related circumstances."
More information can be found here.