Eviction moratoriums were part of the pandemic-relief packages that kept America afloat in 2020 and 2021. When those moratoriums ended, however, millions of people found themselves months behind on back rent with the next month’s rent coming due in a few days or weeks. On the other side of the coin were the many landlords who hadn’t been paid since the pandemic started.
Across the country, state programs are keeping struggling renters and homeowners from falling into poverty and homelessness, while also providing help with utility bills, internet service and other household costs.
In order to find the states with the best eviction assistance programs, GOBankingRates compiled this list, which outlines the state initiatives that provide the most comprehensive protection and relief. Listed alphabetically, the following is not a ranking, but a look at the programs offered by states whose programs are best overall.
Financial help from the Emergency Rental Assistance Alabama program is available both for tenants who are having trouble paying rent and for landlords who are having trouble collecting it. The program provides up to 18 months of assistance, including past due rent, future rent and utilities. Legal Services Alabama is the state’s only free civil legal aid organization and provides legal assistance to — among others — those facing eviction.
The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation provides assistance with rent owed from as far back as March 2020, as well as help with future rent and utilities paid in three-month increments. The Alaska Legal Services Corporation encourages renters to call its hotline for help with an eviction case.
The Arizona Department of Economic Security’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program offers up to $3,500 per month in combined rent and utility assistance for up to 18 months or a total of $63,000. Visit AZEvictionHelp.org for legal assistance with an eviction case.
The Colorado Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) offers help with back rent owed since April 2020, as well as with the current month’s rent and two future months for a maximum of 15 total months. The program also offers mortgage assistance. If you’re facing eviction, you should contact Colorado Legal Services for help.
Delaware, known for its strong protections for renters, provides rental assistance in arrears back to April 2020, as well as help with future rent payments for up to $2,000 a month for as many as 18 months. The program can help with utilities and mortgage payments, as well. Anyone facing eviction in Delaware is encouraged to contact Housing Alliance Delaware.
In Florida, renters can get help with up to 18 months of past-due rent and up to three months of prospective rent to be paid in the future — assistance with utilities is also available. Visit the Florida Department of Children and Families to learn how to qualify for eviction protection.
In Georgia, there is no limit on payments for back rent and utilities, although those payments can not exceed a combined total of 18 months. Visit GeorgiaLegalAid.org for legal help with an eviction case.
In Hawaii, struggling renters can receive up to 12 months of rental assistance, as well as back rent dating from March 13, 2020, to the present. Back payments on utilities can date to March 13, 2020, as well. In Hawaii, you might be eligible for additional county and/or city benefits and the state’s legal aid organization has a hotline dedicated to eviction assistance.
Eligible households in Idaho can get help with past due rent as well as utilities and up to three months of future rent and/or utility payments. No household can receive assistance for more than a total of 15 months, but Idaho Legal Aid Services provides help to those in danger of eviction.
The Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program can provide up to 12 months of combined payments. If you’re in imminent danger of eviction, authorities advise you to contact Iowa Legal Aid, which might be able to help you free of charge.
Home to one of the country’s more generous programs, Kansas offers assistance for up to 18 months of current and past-due rent and as many as three months of prospective rent due in the future. The program also covers past-due utility and internet payments. Those facing an immediate threat of eviction can apply for the Kansas Eviction Prevention Program (KEPP).
Kentucky’s Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund provides up to 12 months of past-due utility and rent payments in arrears, as well as three months’ assistance with future rent and utilities. Contact Kentucky Legal Aid, which might be able to provide you with free legal services if you’re in danger of eviction.
The Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program offers help with back rent dating to April 1, 2020, as well as with forward rent in three-month increments. The program, which is available only in 57 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, also covers past-due and current utility bills, including some penalties and fees. Visit LouisianaLawHelp.org to learn about eviction issues, your rights and contact information for state legal aid offices.
Maine’s program pays back rent and some utilities plus up to three months of future rent and upcoming utilities, one month at a time. That includes trash, water, sewer, electricity, heat and internet. In total, the program is good for up to 18 months of rent and utility assistance. Visit the Maine State Bar Association for information on how the state’s Legal Aid offices can help if you’re facing eviction.
Maryland’s local jurisdictions operate the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program independently, but no matter where you live in the state, the program can help with both past and current payments. Maryland Courts (mdcourts.gov) offers information and assistance in finding legal aid for anyone facing eviction.
Funded by the state, the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program may provide up to $7,000 for rent and other housing costs, including moving expenses, depending on the availability of funds. For those facing eviction, Resolution Massachusetts provides free mediation services statewide.
Michiganders can receive help with both rent and utilities for as many as 13 or 15 months, depending on their income — but the program will only last until its current funds run out. Michigan Legal Help offers county-by-county information and contacts for legal help with eviction.
Visit MOHousingResources.com to learn about the State Assistance for Housing Relief (SAFHR) Program for Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA), which can help landlords, homeowners and renters alike. Also, legal aid assistance is available through Missouri Legal Services.
The Montana Emergency Rental Assistance program offers eligible households assistance with past due and future rent up to $2,200 per month. Those who need help paying their utility bills can receive up to $500 a month, as well as up to $50 per month for internet, late fees and unpaid security deposits. Also, the Montana Legal Services Association provides free civil legal services to low-income Montanans who are facing eviction.
Nebraska’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program — which is not open to homeowners and is designed just to assist renters — is expected to run only through the end of September, unless the U.S. Treasury defunds the program before that. Certain counties, however, may continue their own programs beyond that date, and Legal Aid of Nebraska offers free assistance to residents facing eviction.
Nevadans may be eligible for up to 12 months of assistance — contingent upon the availability of funds — including three months of prospective rent to be paid in the future and nine months in arrears. The State Bar of Nevada offers information on pro bono legal services for those who qualify.
The New Hampshire Emergency Rental Assistance Program covers up to 18 months rent, both current and past due, as well as three months for rent to be paid in the future. The program also provides for past due utilities, internet and other bills, including any associated fees.
New Mexico has given out nearly $128 million in assistance to more than 53,682 households. Its program provides assistance with unpaid, current and future rent and utility bills, including water, sewer, trash and fuel. New Mexico Legal Aid provides information on how to obtain free legal help.
ND Rent Help is open to landlords, struggling tenants and people experiencing homelessness. The program also provides assistance to people who are at risk of having their utilities disconnected, and Legal Services of North Dakota might be able to help you fight your eviction for free.
Ohio’s Home Relief Grant is distributed to residents through their local Community Action Agencies (CAAs). The program helps eligible residents with rent, mortgage and utility payments. Ohio Legal Help maintains a county-by-county database of legal aid information.
Community Cares Partners (CCP), a program of Communities Foundation of Oklahoma, is a public-private partnership that provides financial assistance to Oklahomans facing an eviction crisis. The program approves 95% of the 500 applications it receives every single day, and Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma might represent you for free if you’re facing either eviction or foreclosure.
Pennsylvania’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is accepting applications for assistance with current and past due rent, utilities and even some other expenses like relocation costs. The Department of Human Services maintains a list of links and contacts for organizations that offer legal services in Pennsylvania.
South Carolina’s program, called SC Stay Plus, offers up to 12 months of assistance with rent and utility payments dating back to March 13, as well as up to three months of future rent to reduce housing insecurity in the state. South Carolina Legal Services offers help to low-income residents facing eviction.
In South Dakota, households are eligible to receive up to 12 months of assistance with no limit on the monthly dollar amount received. The program pays all past-due rent and utilities first and then makes any remaining funds available for help with current and future bills. South Dakota Legal Self-Help provides information on free legal assistance in the state.
In Tennessee, the maximum combined rent and utility assistance period is 12 months — in most cases. Some households are eligible for three additional months toward future rent payments. Those who need legal assistance but can’t afford it are encouraged to visit their nearest Tennessee Legal Services program or Legal Aid office.
As the name implies, the Utah Rent Relief program provides rental assistance — including current, past-due and three months of future rent — but that’s not all. It also assists eligible residents with security deposits and other fees, as well as helps with internet and utility payments. Utah Legal Services, a nonprofit law office, offers free legal services to those who qualify.
The Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides help with past-due rent balances, as well as energy and other utility costs — including those that are back due — and other household expenses. Vermont Legal Aid offers free legal services to low-income residents facing eviction.
West Virginia’s Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program covers past-due and current rent, as well as three months’ forward rent. The program also provides assistance with utilities, a $300 internet stipend and help with relocation costs and eviction fees.
Wisconsin’s program includes 18 months’ worth of back rent, as well as help with utilities and other housing stability services. For those facing an eviction crisis, Legal Action of Wisconsin might be able to take your case for free.
In Wyoming, eligible households can obtain assistance for up to 18 months’ worth of unpaid rent, both current and future, as well as 18 months’ worth of internet and utility payments. Contact Legal Aid of Wyoming for free legal assistance if you’re facing eviction.
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Methodology: For this piece, GOBankingRates examined individual state-hosted sites to determine which states currently administer rental assistance programs and what benefits they provide. All data was collected on and up to date as of May 5, 2022.