CAMDEN, NJ — Camden renters, which make up roughly 60% of those living in the city, are eligible for up to six months of rental assistance under a state program currently accepting applications.

The New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs (NJDCA) says the program will help low- and moderate-income households whose finances have been significantly depleted because of the health crisis.

“We have many renters in the city, whether you’re living in a high rise, public housing, rental home or senior housing. These are people who have to make ends meet...and are still financially struggling across the board,” Mayor Frank Moran told TAPinto Camden over the phone Thursday. “We’re encouraging them to take advantage of this and every state program [available].”

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Rental assistance will be capped at the NJDCA's fair market rent standard or the total of the rent (whichever is less). 

The program will provide assistance starting in September and households that qualify will be expected to pay 30% of their income toward the rent. At the three-month mark, the household budget will be reviewed to determine if assistance is still needed.

Applicants, which have until July 17 at 5 p.m. to submit for the lottery, must (per the state): 

  • Have a gross, annual household income that is at or below the maximum income limits for the county where they are residing

  • Be a New Jersey resident and rent a unit in New Jersey

  • Rent must be current as of March 2020; this program will not assist with arrears

  • Have a substantial reduction in income or are currently receiving unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Have a lack of assets and savings to pay rent

  • Will pay a minimum of 30 percent of their income towards the rent

  • Anyone currently receives a subsidy from another rental assistance program or living in Public Housing is ineligible

In Camden County, maximum income limits are $54,150 (1 person), $61,850 (2 people), $69,600 (3 people), $77,300 (4 people), $83,500 (5 people), $89,700 (6 people), $95,900 (7 people) and $102,050 (8 people). 

Households of over 8 people are asked to contact DCA at 609-292-4080, and select Option 1 or 8.

Pastor Amir Khan, who heads New Beginnings and has worked tirelessly during the pandemic to help local families access resources, says as many residents as possible should be applying for the NJDCA program.

“This is perfect for Camden as we’re heavy renters and the city is among the poorest in the state as far as household incomes. Taking advantage of this is a win on every level,” Khan said.

Khan has been spreading the word on social media, through local churches and non-profit organizations.

To apply, one must also provide the following household information: names, birth dates, income and assets information for all individuals living in the household, and an email address; for those who do not have an email address, the application process will allow you to create one.

 CVERAP pre-applications, available in 90 languages, can only be submitted online at https://www.waitlistcheck.com/NJ559-2809; paper applications will not be distributed or accepted. Only one COVID-19 pre-application per household per county will be accepted; duplicate applications will be rejected. To check the status of your application, visit https://www.WaitlistCheck.com by July 21.

More information is available here.

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