$25 Million in CARES Act Funding Allocated to Reimburse Small Landlords Whose Tenants Missed Rent Payments between April And July 2020
The New Jersey Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency (NJHMFA) today announced that the application period for the Small Landlord Emergency Grant (SLEG) Program is now open. NJHFMA, whose mission is to increase the availability of and accessibility to safe, decent, and affordable housing to families in New Jersey, developed the SLEG program to reimburse small landlords for missed or reduced rent payments between April 2020 and July 2020 due to COVID-19. The SLEG is open to owners of residential properties in New Jersey with 3 to 10 rental units. Applicants must be the Primary Property Owner of a residential rental property in New Jersey and be registered with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) Bureau of Housing Inspection. The application period ends on Wednesday, August 26th, at 1:00 p.m.
“When tenants are unable to pay their rent, landlords are unable to pay their mortgages, increasing the risk of foreclosure and eviction. While the SLEG program is outside of our usual scope of work, our team developed the grant, as well as a suite of resources to assist applicants, with one clear goal in mind—that no New Jersey family should be without a home in the middle of a global pandemic,” said Charles A. Richman, Executive Director of New Jersey Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency. “Given the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 emergency, both landlords and tenants across this country are facing prolonged economic hardship. With reports that New Jersey is leading the nation with a 20% delinquency rate for Federal Housing Administration mortgages and an 11% rate in late payments, make no mistake, we are in a crisis.”
The application review process will begin on Thursday, August 27th. All completed eligible applications will be randomly sorted by computer to give each application an equal chance of being funded. Grant funding will be allocated on a case-by-case basis, based on the number of COVID-impacted units and the amount of missed rent until the $25 million in funding has been exhausted. A list of all successful landlord applicants will be posted to the NJHMFA website, and letters will be sent to all tenants of awarded landlords. Because the grant will cover outstanding rent payments due to COVID-19, SLEG recipients are legally obligated to waive any outstanding back rent and late fees that their tenants may have accrued during the eligible period.
There is a range of tools available on NJHMFA’s website for Primary Property Owners to get their applications ready, including an application checklist, an annotated application with sample answers, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions. The application has been provided in both English and Spanish, and NJHMFA has contracted interpretation services to support speakers of at least 10 additional languages: Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese and Tagalog. Translated versions of the application itself were made available in advance of the portal opening. Applicants can contact email@example.com to receive a call within one business day from a representative who can communicate with them in their primary language. Potential applicants with specific questions can call NJHMFA’s toll-free hotline at 866-280-9756 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NJHMFA has been a leader in the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing opportunities for families, seniors and special needs residents statewide through its loan financing and bond programs; mortgage, down payment and closing costs assistance; and the award of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits. NJHMFA does not rely on any direct funding from the New Jersey State Treasury to meet its core operating or administrative expenses. For more information on NJHMFA, visit njhousing.gov.