ADA COUNTY, Idaho — Rent prices have skyrocketed around the Treasure Valley and with the pandemic ongoing, many continue to struggle to pay their monthly rent.
As of Dec. 15, The Boise City Ada County Housing Authority (BCACHA) has given out $19,145,591 million in emergency rental assistance funds and is hoping more is on the way.
As we’ve previously reported, emergency rental assistance money has been available for around a year to Boise City and Ada County residents who have been faced with rental price spikes and trouble paying rent due to COVID-19.
As of Dec. 8, Boise, Meridian and Garden City residents have been allocated the most emergency rental funds according to data from the BCACHA.
“We know that the need continues at a pace that would be a total disaster for our communities if this funding wasn’t available,” BCACHA Executive Director Deanna Watson said. “This program is a lifesaver for families, and we’ve helped over 3,000 families and we’ve expended over $19 million to date and we have more money coming.”
The U.S Treasury Department sent rental assistance funds to the states through a formula basis back in January of this year. Both Ada County and the City of Boise opted to apply for their own subset of funding that was coming to the state of Idaho according to Watson.
This year, $175 million in emergency rental assistance funds were awarded to the Idaho Housing and Finance Association. The U.S Treasury recaptured $33.1 million of the state's Emergency Rental Assistance funds, which leaves the Idaho Housing and Finance Association's Housing Preservation Program with $123.1 million to spread across the state. Residents outside of Ada County can apply here for rental assistance funds.
“The Treasury Department has made a priority that those funds would stay in the state in which they’ve been pulled and we’re the only other entity that’s been administering that program and so we anticipate that at least some of that funding will come to us,” Watson said.
“Rental assistance right now, we believe is keeping a number of families who otherwise might be sliding into homelessness from having to go into that system which is so much harder to get out of than to get into,” Watson said.
Landlords can also invite tenants to apply for the program by visiting the BCACHA website.
“We all know that the owners, landlords of these properties are also trying to work with their tenants in receiving the rent. They have an asset they're trying to protect, and they need to receive payment as well so our agency works closely with landlords and trying to expedite payments as quickly as we can and make them hold with our landlord,” BCACHA Deputy Director Jillian Patterson said. “So landlords have the option to invite their tenants to apply for this program if their tenant hasn't applied already.”
To qualify you must:
- Be an Ada County resident
- Have a current lease agreement
- Meet income eligibility criteria
- Have a documented loss of income due to COVID-19
- Be at risk of homelessness or housing instability
- You may not receive rent or utility assistance from any other source (including federal, state, and local assistance)
“There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what this funding is and who it is for. I would encourage anyone, landlords applicants. We want to make sure we are available and can help anyone we can," Patterson said.