Rental assistance available for renters and landlords

Crime

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Millions of people across the country are facing eviction and foreclosure from the negative impact of COVID-19 on some people’s personal finances.

The federal eviction moratorium has been extended several times, and on August 3, the CDC extended it again for areas where COVID cases are rapidly spreading. But renters in places where the order does not apply now face the possibility of eviction if they still owe back rent.

If you’re a renter facing eviction, there are several sites and services available to you:

  • Connect with state and local organizations that are distributing federal rental assistance in their communities by visiting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) new Rental Assistance Finder.
  • Check with your local court system for more details about the eviction process and your rights as a tenant. You may also qualify for free legal services through your local legal aid organization.

Additionally, scammers can take advantage of the this situation by contacting renters facing eviction, promising rental assistance and pretending to be with the government. Scammers ask for bank account and other personal information, saying that they need this information so they can transfer emergency rental assistance money directly into these accounts. But instead of depositing the money to your account, they use the information to steal your money.

If someone contacts you saying they’re from the federal government and they can help you with back rent, it’s a sign of a scam. Never give out financial or personal information to anyone who contacts you, even if they’re promising to help you. Federal aid for emergency rental assistance was distributed to states, territories, and other localities. You will have to apply for these funds through an agency first.

These government services aren’t just for tenants. If you’re a landlord facing a loss of rental income, the CFPB also has useful information on their Help for landlords page.

If you spot a rental assistance scam or any other type of scam, contact the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General immediately, and then report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

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