Some 80 individuals who reside in Bangor accommodations might lose their housing subsequent month after a set of modifications designed to increase the lifetime of Maine’s pandemic hire aid program take impact.
The Maine State Housing Authority is making a lot of modifications to the $350 million pandemic rental help program funded by two federal COVID aid packages because it initiatives it might run out of funding this fall. The modifications additional restrict who can obtain help and for the way lengthy, and the vary of housing-related prices the help can cowl.
The brand new guidelines take impact June 1, stated Scott Thistle, a spokesperson for the Maine State Housing Authority, which runs Maine’s hire aid program.
Recipients will solely be capable to obtain a 12 months’s price of help, as a substitute of 18 months, and solely those that earn 50 % or much less of the world median revenue will qualify, Thistle stated.
This system at the moment covers those that make 80 % or much less of their space median revenue. The Bangor-area median revenue for a family of 4 is $81,300, so solely these making $40,650 or much less would qualify for rental help after June 1.
The modifications will apply to new candidates and present recipients of the help.
Present recipients who’re of their eleventh month of receiving hire aid or are previous the 12-month mark might be given a two-month grace interval after the modifications take impact, Thistle stated. Lease aid cash can even solely apply to hire, again hire, safety deposits and electrical energy payments, and it’ll not cowl sponsored housing tenants.
This system at the moment covers different utilities like water, sewage, trash, web and warmth.
As well as, rental help will solely cowl the federal government commonplace price for lodge rooms, which is $96 per evening in Bangor, in keeping with the U.S. Normal Providers Administration.
Which means as many as 80 individuals at the moment dwelling in 51 lodge rooms in Bangor will lose out on their housing after June 1 as a result of six accommodations that settle for rental aid funds could not qualify for this system as a result of they cost greater than the federal per diem price, Bangor metropolis supervisor Debbie Laurie advised metropolis councilors throughout a Monday evening workshop.
Some 731 individuals in Bangor use hire aid funds to pay for personal housing along with the 80 lodge room occupants, she stated.
Housing specialists are working to make sure that individuals know their choices, like making use of for FEMA or basic help funds, however “it might be a tough 30 or 60 days,” Laurie stated.
“We’ll do our perfect to seek out various housing for these impacted by this, conserving in thoughts that we at the moment have a really difficult housing market, usually,” stated Kara Hay, chief government of the Bangor social companies company Penquis, which handles pandemic hire aid in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties.
The brand new guidelines are purported to protect cash after projections confirmed that MaineHousing might run out of its federal rental aid funds by October or November, Thistle stated.
“The aim of [the new rules] is to protect the funding for the individuals who want it probably the most for the longest interval doable to attempt to get us via subsequent winter,” he stated.
MaineHousing had disbursed or accepted $192.6 million in rental help for 25,801 households as of final week, in keeping with an company knowledge report. That’s 55 % of Maine’s $350 million federal help package deal.
The state’s means to rapidly allocate its aid funds has spared it the destiny of different equally sized states like Montana, which needed to give again $53 million of its COVID funds to the U.S. Treasury as a result of it didn’t use sufficient, Thistle stated.
The evictions of long-term residents at a Wells lodge final week usually are not associated to the company’s new guidelines, Thistle stated.
The Majestic Regency Resort on Route 1 tried to power out its tenants, a few of whom had lived there for years and paid for his or her rooms utilizing public help cash, after the Wells board of selectmen threatened its license as a result of repeated complaints about residents’ habits.
A Maine Superior Court docket choose dominated on Monday that the lodge’s sudden eviction notices had been unlawful and that it couldn’t power individuals out with out formally submitting for eviction.
Maine has the very best price of tenants who’re behind on hire of any New England state.