CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WVDN) — The state’s program to help renters struggling to pay housing costs due to the COVID-19 Pandemic is entering a new phase.
The Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program – administered by the West Virginia Housing Development Fund – has distributed more than $139 million and satisfied over 45,000 claims.
In its new phase, the program will focus on first-time applicants only. It has ceased accepting applications from those who have already received assistance. The Rental Assistance Online Application portal will continue to take and process new applications until rental assistance funds are depleted per U.S. Treasury guidelines.
Current applicants should monitor the online portal to ensure all requested documents have been received and reply to any messages from their caseworkers. Failure to do so could result in rejection. Applicants should check the online portal for updates and communications using the online portal at help.wvmrap.com.
Landlords must be registered in the Mountaineer Rental Assistance system to receive rents associated with a tenant’s application. Landlords and tenants can go to www.wvrentalassistance.com to review eligibility and document requirements. For assistance, call 1-866-623-6284 or visit https://help.wvmrap.com to log in and view or track your application.
“The Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program has helped tens of thousands of West Virginians during this unprecedented health emergency,” said Erica Boggess, Executive Director of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund. “Millions of Americans were deeply affected by the Pandemic, experiencing unemployment, reduced wages, and increased costs. Congress responded by making emergency funding available to address several issues, including housing so that people could maintain housing stability even in dark economic times.”
The Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program, supported through federal COVID relief funding, provided emergency help to renters impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Program launched in March 2021 to provide eligible West Virginia renters with rent and utility payments.
In its current phase, the Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program will continue to support renters facing eviction and other housing stability issues through a unique partnership with Legal Aid of West Virginia. Renters now have access to free legal services through the Legal Help for West Virginia Renters Program. Information about this program can be found at: https://legalaidwv.org/legal- information/covid-19-and- evictions/
The West Virginia Housing Development Fund will continue working with Legal Aid of West Virginia and other nonprofit community partners to address homelessness, prevent evictions, and create affordable housing. “The mission of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund is to increase the supply of and access to affordable housing for all of West Virginia,” Boggess said. “That has been our focus long before the Pandemic hit and will remain our focus in the future. We will continue working with other agencies and developers across the state to ensure all West Virginians have access to safe, affordable homes.”