MINNESOTA, USA — From property owners to tenants and homeowners...
"We are down at this point about $750,000 in rental income," said Dr. Thomas Adams, Senior Vice President of CommonBond Communities.
"Life has been a lot more difficult than I ever anticipated, it's ever been for me," said Tiana Hodge Hunter who lives in Edina.
Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans are being confronted with the reality of losing their homes, a rather debilitating side effect of a global pandemic.
Hodge Hunter is a single mother of two, currently living in affordable housing in a CommonBond Community and has been out of work since March.
"Whatever I can get to help ease the burden that I'm feeling right now with the stress and all the weight of all my bills it's helpful," said Hodge Hunter.
Which is why state leaders have approved $100 million through the Cares Act making that money accessible right now to fund the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program, assisting those in need.
"It's paying back due rent, it might be paying back due mortgage if you’re a homeowner, it could be a back due utility," said State Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho.
To qualify, your income must be at or below 300% of the federal poverty guidelines and have eligible expenses incurred after March 1.
With roughly 150,000 households across the state making less than $50,000 a year, and paying 50% of their income in rent before COVID-19, officials say the need for relief is that much greater.
According to a spokesperson from the State Housing Office, more than 5,000 people have applied for the COVID-19 relief funds as of Wednesday, since the application process began on Monday.
You can apply by calling Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 211 Resource Helpline (Toll Free: 1.800.543.7709; Local: 651.291.0211), visiting the 211 United Way website, or texting "MNRENT" or “MNHOME” to 898-211.
"There are a lot more people hurting than what people would like to admit to," said Hodge Hunter.
"I consider it a win-win situation tenants get to pay their bills, landlords get the money their due so they can pay their bills too," said Commissioner Ho.
For Hodge Hunter, the will to survive amid all she's enduring, is summed up in a simple note to self.
"Something good is going to happen to you, you're going to come out of this okay," said Hodge Hunter.
Under the Governor's Executive Order, a moratorium is in place to protect people from being evicted. The order is set to expire Sept. 11.