Nonprofit group of property managers helping people pay rent amid pandemic

Millions are struggling to pay rent because of the COVID-19 crisis
Posted at 3:13 PM, May 19, 2020

After serving his country on the frontlines, Steven Rogers found himself facing hard times.

“I’ve had four back surgeries one open heart surgery,” said the military veteran who suffered multiple injuries from his time as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army.

Rogers, however, went from suffering physically to financially when his mother passed away.

“I had to help support her in a convalescent home as well as her funeral,” he said. “Then I encountered medical expenses from my injuries.”

Just four days away from facing eviction, Rogers says he was saved by the Resident Relief Foundation – a national nonprofit helping people pay their rent.

“It’s simply a grant for responsible renters who find themselves in a really tough situation,” said Michelle Lyng of the Colorado Apartment Association – a group that partnered with the Resident Relief Foundation.

With millions of Americans out of work and filing for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic, Lyng says the goal is to raise $10 million to help renters across the country.

“This particular grant program is for renters who have a strong rental history who just find themselves in an emergency situation,” she said. “Frankly, I can’t think of a more emergent situation than COVID-19.”

Normally to qualify for this program, you have to be facing eviction within 21 days, be a resident in your community for at least nine months, paid your rent on time every month for the last five years. Now, some of those restrictions have been loosened for COVID-19 victims. This program also requires people to complete a financial literacy program – something Rogers says has really helped him.

“When you get this education, you start thinking differently about you know your finances and how to move forward,” he said.

Moving forward, Rogers no longer needs help paying his rent and says he’ll refer others to this program.

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