WHITEFISH — The recent COVID-19 outbreak has found many Whitefish workers without employment due to mandated or voluntary business closures.
Whitefish’s community is particularly vulnerable with a local economy based around tourism industries and a significant amount of people out of work.
In an effort to provide emergency relief to the local workforce, the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce, the Whitefish Housing Authority and the Whitefish Community Foundation have teamed up to create an emergency fund to provide one-time partial rent relief to Whitefish area renters.
Renters in the 59937 zip code whose employment status was affected by COVID-19 may be eligible for a grant of rental assistance monies through the Whitefish Housing Authority Rental Assistance Fund.
Each affected worker can apply for $300 in rent assistance, with a cap of 50% of the monthly rent amount.
If multiple wage earners in a single household have been affected, $300 may be provided for each wage earner, subject to the 50% cap.
Approved applicants will be granted a check written by the Whitefish Housing Authority directly to the applicant’s landlord to help with rental payments.
Funding is limited and applications will be filled as they arrive on a first-come, first-serve basis as long as the applicant meets the criteria set below and funding is available.
It is anticipated this program will provide one time rental assistance for one month to help workers make April 1st rental payments.
To be eligible you must meet these items:
- Applicant must be renting in 59937 zip code
- Applicant was laid-off or lost job due to COVID-19
- Applicant properly filled out Emergency Assistance Application with requested documentation
Steps to file for the fund:
- Fill out and email the Emergency Assistance Application
- Copy of the applicant’s driver’s license/form of ID
- Copy of the applicant’s most recent pay stub and proof of layoff from employer. A submitted State of Montana unemployment assistance application will satisfy this requirement.
- Copy of applicant’s lease agreement showing the property address and applicants name on lease.
To apply for the fund you can visit the Housing Authority website to download the application and instructions, or email or call the Whitefish Housing Authority to receive the Emergency Assistance Application at firstname.lastname@example.org and 406-862-4143
The Whitefish Housing Authority office is currently closed for visitors and all correspondence will be done by email and telephone.
A physical drop box is available for document drop off, but discouraged.
Donations for the Whitefish Emergency Rental Assistance Fund are needed and can be made through the Whitefish Community Foundation.
All donations will be marked as a 100% charitable donation and can be used as a tax write-off. For more information regarding the fund or the Whitefish Housing Authority, you can visit their website here.
The program will be re-evaluated if further emergency assistance is appropriate and funding is available.