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Rent and utility assistance program to begin soon in the Mountian State

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) –Last week Governor Jim Justice announced money from Washington is on its way to help West Virginians who are struggling to pay their rent.

“We expect that additional guidance on the rental assistance program in the coming days. Funds from the U.S. Treasury are expected to be advanced to the state in late January,” said Governor Jim Justice, West Virginia (R).

200 million dollars to be exact. The COVID-19 aid bill signed by President Donald Trump in December will provide funding for the new Mountaineer Assistance Program.

“To provide rental assistance and utility assistance to people who have lost their jobs or lost income due to the Covid pandemic,” said Erica Boggess, the West Virginia Housing Development Fund Executive Director.

But there are some prerequisites to receive this funding.

Income eligibility requirements for this program will vary from county to county. The maximum amount accepted is 80 percent of a county’s area median income.

But the program wants to focus on helping those below the 50% area median income. Residents that apply, must show proof of unemployment or income reduction to receive funding, which includes loss of income dating backing to March 2020.

“It’s a total assistance for a 12 month period, and that would include a look back for rears and a look forward,” said Boggess.

The program hopes to help as many West Virginians as they can, especially those who did not receive the CARES Act Utility Assistance.

“People need help, and they are anxious to get this resource. We know that that is important and we are working as hard as we can,” said Boggess.

The program will begin accepting applications in the upcoming weeks.

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