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$100 million in housing relief to be available for Minnesotans

Updated: July 14, 2020 10:41 PM

Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday that $100 million in housing relief will be available to Minnesotans. Grants will help people make rent or mortgage payments this fall. 

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As extra unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of July, housing advocates say they expect more people to struggle to make payments this fall. 

"We already have a shortage of affordable housing in Minnesota. There is nowhere for them to go if they lose the housing they already have," Jenny Larson with Three Rivers Community Action said. 

Evictions have been on hold for a couple months, and Gov. Walz (DFL-Minn.) said he hopes this is another piece to preventing them. 

"The No. 1 reason people get evicted is they don't pay their rent," Walz said. "I know that there's been some concerns from the landlord community that they have to be able to protect people if they have a bad tenant who is putting others at risk."

Right now, state leaders are looking for local organizations to help distribute the grants. Applications will open to individual Minnesotans in early August, and the funds are supposed to be dispersed in time for people to pay September's rent and mortgages. 

Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho said grants will be available to people who make 300% of the federal poverty level or less. For an individual, that's $38,280, and for a family of four, it's $78,600. Ho said the funds will especially be targeted toward households at under 200% of the poverty level. 

More information is at mnhousing.gov. 

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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