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HRDC's rental assistance program helps keep people housed during pandemic

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Posted at 11:00 AM, May 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-17 13:00:23-04

BOZEMAN — While businesses are slowly starting to reopen and people are getting back to work, many families in the Gallatin Valley continue to feel like they’re in a financial bind because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Especially people struggling to make rent.

The Human Resource Development Council’s emergency rental assistance program has one main mission: to help house people, or help keep people housed.

“Typically we’re helping someone in a very similar situation where they’ve had a sudden or unexpected loss of income. Now that is just many more people than we’re used to,” said Heather Grenier, president and chief executive officer of the HRDC.

“Whether that’s getting into a home and so their deposit and first month’s rent or to maintain their existing home. And so we call that prevention assistance, if we’re preventing someone from losing their housing.”

Not surprising, the HRDC has seen an increase in demand for their services.

“We’ve had a really large spike in increase for requests for assistance, and anticipate that to continue and to grow when other resources available to folks whether unemployment or stimulus payments etc become less available or unavailable,” said Grenier.

The program receives funding from a number of different sources, serving people from a variety of economic backgrounds.

“The resources that are out there are available to everyone. They’re not just for those people or for people experiencing hoemlessness; this is for everyone in the community because this pandemic is impacting everyone.”

If you’re struggling to make rent, the best thing to do is give them a call and see kinds of resources are available to you.

The most important thing is to start preparing if you think you may need assistance in months to come. That means reaching out, even if you’re not sure if you’re eligible for assistance.

This helps both the individual and HRDC plan for the future. You can learn more about the HRDC’s program here: https://thehrdc.org/how-we-help/housing/

You can also apply for mortgage and rental financial assistance through the Montana Department of Commerce at this site: https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief [commerce.mt.gov]

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The Rebound: Montana