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Posted on: September 4, 2020

COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program

Graphic Outline Drawing of houses

COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program

Please review the following information to see if you are eligible to apply and to learn more about how the program works.

What is the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program?

The COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program provides housing assistance payments to help prevent eviction, prevent homelessness, and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners. Local administrators will review applications from individuals and families requesting assistance, verify eligibility, and process payments for eligible expenses on behalf of households.

Am I eligible to apply?

To qualify for housing assistance, households must meet all of the criteria listed below:

  • Be a Minnesota resident.
  • Be a renter or homeowner with an income at or below 300% of federal poverty guidelines, with a preference for those at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines. To see if your income qualifies, please see the FY 2020 Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • Have an eligible expense that was incurred after March 1, 2020 that is past due. Housing assistance funds can only be used for eligible expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020.
  • Be unable to make the payment(s) owed because of the public health emergency due to unemployment, illness, or another COVID-19 related issue.

If you currently receive rental assistance that adjusts with income (i.e. Housing Choice voucher, project-based assistance, or another form of state or federal rental assistance), you are generally not eligible to apply for rental assistance in the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program. You may still apply for assistance with eligible utility expenses.

Households with a federally backed mortgage covered under the CARES Act may not be eligible for assistance. If you have a federally backed mortgage covered under the CARES Act (includes loans from such agencies as the Federal Housing Administration, Veteran’s Administration, United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac), you will be required to contact your mortgage servicer to obtain a special forbearance, a loan modification, and/or set up a repayment plan. For more information, visit www.consumerfinance.gov.

What expenses may be eligible for assistance?

If needed to maintain housing security, avoid displacement, and are past their due date, eligible expenses may include:

  • Rent payments
  • Mortgage payments (including escrowed property taxes and insurance in the case of foreclosure prevention)
  • Contract for deed payments
  • Manufactured home park lot rents
  • Manufactured home payments
  • Utility payments
  • Homeowners Association fees
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Additional housing related costs approved by Minnesota Housing 

I think I’m eligible for this program. What is the application process?

There are three main steps in the application process:

  1. Determine initial eligibility
  2. Complete the online Common Household Application Form (application form)
  3. Work with a Local Administrator

Step 1: Determine Initial Eligibility

There are three ways to determine your eligibility:

  • Call 211 (Toll Free: 1.800.543.7709; Local: 651.291.0211)
  • Visit 211unitedway.org
  • Text "MNRENT" or "MNHOME" to 898-211

Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 211 Resource Helpline has dedicated multilingual staff available to answer questions about the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.


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