If you live in Atlantic County and are behind in your rent because of a COVID hardship, you should know that there is approximately $15 million in emergency rental assistance available right now for people facing eviction.

The Atlantic County Board of Commissioners has recently accepted an $8.9 million grant to help county residents who are feeling the financial pinch from the lingering pandemic.

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Add that money to the $7 million grant the county received previously for rental assistance and that brings the amount of money available to about $15 million, according to the Press of Atlantic City.

So far, Atlantic County has helped 66 tenants in need with almost $600,000 in rental assistance, but the process has been slower than all involved would like.

Bob McGuigan, the director of the Community Development Block Grant Program, told the Press of Atlantic City that you must meet certain conditions to be eligible for rental assistance.

- You must have a COVID hardship, such as unemployment or a loss of shifts, or be experiencing increased expenses.

- You must have an income of no more than 80% of the median income for your area

- You must be able to show proof of financial instability, such as owing back rent or paying rent that is more than half of your income

As talks continue about ending the federal eviction moratorium, New Jersey's moratorium will continue until the end of 2021.

These funds are available to help Atlantic County tenants and landlords. The money must be used by Sept. 30, 2025.

For more information about the Community Development Block Grant Program at the Atlantic County Improvement Authority, call 609-343-2390.

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