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Help still available for Gallatin County residents facing pandemic struggles

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Posted at 4:18 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 18:18:53-04

BOZEMAN — One of the biggest impacts this pandemic has had has been the economic impact.

“There shouldn’t be any shame or guilt associated with availing yourself of these programs. They’re designed to help our community and really we can make your day-to-day life a lot more manageable,” said Brian Guyer, housing director with HRDC.

As the housing director for HRDC, Guyer has seen the need for assistance here.

“Housing needs kind of goes across the spectrum here in Gallatin County. Everybody has heard about the escalating housing costs. The reality is at the bottom of that property ladder those prices have escalated too,” he said.

Earlier in April, the Governor’s Office announced a new emergency rental and utility assistance program available for renters who have experienced hardships due the pandemic and face housing challenges.

“There will be rental assistance payments that can go back almost a year to help people who have been overdue on their rent to help them come into compliance and also help them with payments moving forward if they’re continuing to experience those difficulties due to COVID,” Guyer said.

Looking on the state’s website, there are a lot of programs once offered but now say closed.

“I would say that we’re probably in a bit of a lull between the last stimulus package and the next stimulus package," said Guyer. "There’s a lot of money on the way. We know that. Our legislators are currently deciding how they want to dole those dollars out. There is relief on the way.”

But in the meantime, there are a lot of local resources like the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, the Streamline bus system, as well as many local nonprofits.

Landlords can also apply for assistance for their tenants. More information can be found here.

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The Rebound: Montana