Mayor Fulop Announces Utility/Rent Relief to Help Most Vulnerable Residents Prevent Eviction Regardless of Immigration Status
Jersey City Allocates over $2.5 million in Direct Recovery Assistance to Community Nonprofits to Maximize Impact of Minimizing Hardships
JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop joins the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC) to launch the latest round of emergency funding to provide over $2.5 million in direct aid and support to Jersey City’s neediest residents, regardless of immigration status, who have fallen on hard times amid the pandemic.
The new Jersey City COVID-19 Hardship Assistance Program will utilize $2.5 million from the Mayor’s COVID-19 Relief Fund and Community Development Block Grants to provide residents with up to 3 months of utility and rent relief. The city is partnering with four of the largest community-based nonprofit organizations to help administer and oversee the program. York Street, Women Rising, United Way, and Puertorriqueños Asociados for Community Organization (PACO) will each receive $500,000 in CDBG funds and an additional $125,000 from the Mayor’s Relief Fund to address utility and rental assistance for families struggling to make ends meet through a fair lottery process to guarantee equal access.
Additionally, the Mayor’s Relief Fund will provide grants to Welcome Home ($25,000) and Church World ($50,000), for the purpose of providing rental and utility assistance to vulnerable immigrants, specifically focusing on residents who may be ineligible for federal funding.
“Since day one of this pandemic, we have worked to protect our residents from the economic fallout as best we can, and this emergency funding is the latest step to directly protect our residents from eviction and the many other unprecedented challenges the pandemic has caused,” said Mayor Fulop. “By leveraging our nonprofits that are already actively engaged with the community, we will maximize our impact to help minimize hardships for our neediest residents, many of whom have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own.”
The Hardship Assistance Program will also assist residents with landlord-tenant and other legal services to prevent eviction, benefits counseling, immigrant rights, and other related services.
“This financial aid will mean low-income families won’t have to choose between paying rent and feeding their family or buying necessary medications,” said Vivian Brady-Philips, Vice Chair of the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation. “The JCEDC is working with city and community agencies to design this program, which will provide much-needed aid to residents regardless of immigration status.”
The maximum amount of aid per household is $1,500, which will be paid directly to the tenant’s landlord or service provider. Eligibility requirements include households that fall below federal income limits, owe rent/utility payments for over three months or fewer since March 2020, as well as additional criteria outlined on the FAQ sheet attached.
“Studies show the pandemic has impacted low-income and minority families the most, and as the most diverse city in the nation, we’re working to meet the diverse needs that many local families never imagined they’d be facing today,” said Carmen Gandulla, Director of the Division of Community Development.
Applications for the Hardship Assistance Program will be available beginning at 9 a.m. on January 18, 2021, through 5 p.m. on February 1, 2021. To apply, residents can fill out the online application on the city’s website jcnj.org/hardshipassistance.
For additional questions or assistance, residents can email email@example.com or contact one of the participating organizations.
About the Mayor’s COVID-19 Community Relief Distribution Fund:
The COVID-19 Relief Distribution Fund was established by Mayor Fulop and the administration at the start of the pandemic to provide direct relief to Jersey City residents, community nonprofits, and local businesses impacted by the pandemic to help address losses in income, revenue, and other COVID-19 related costs.
The first round of funding administered from the $2 million in private donations raised through the Mayor’s COVID-19 Community Relief Distribution Fund was allocated to community-based organizations, the revitalization of the arts community, as well as critical summer recreation and enrichment programming for Jersey City’s youth.
Following a thorough selection process by the Jersey City COVID-19 Relief Committee, the 154 community-based organizations and institutions citywide were selected to receive grants upwards of $65,000 distributed through the JCEDC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The awardees included 119 artists and arts organization as chosen by the Jersey City Arts Council, 12 summer youth nonprofit organizations, 12 art program organizations, and 12 community-based organizations identified to receive the grants ranging from $5,000 to $65,000.
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