Newton’s City Council on Monday approved using $2 million in Community Preservation Act funds for the COVID-19 Emergency Housing Relief Program to assist local households during the coronavirus pandemic.
The city has partnered with Metro West Collaborative Development to assist Newton households that have been negatively impacted by the ongoing pandemic, the Community Preservation Committee said in a statement last week.
The city program also is using $500,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus funds, Mayor Ruthanne Fuller has said.
Ward 5 City Councilor Bill Humphrey proposed the emergency fund in April.
The program is designed to cover 70 percent of an eligible household’s monthly rent for up to three months, with a maximum of $2,500 per month.
To be eligible, households have to earn less than 80 percent of the area median income, Fuller has said, and must have a reduction in income due to COVID-19. Families already receiving rental assistance are eligible for the program, she has said.
The area median income in Newton and surrounding region is $96,240 for a family of four, according to the city.
The assistance effort is expected to help at least 300 households in Newton, according to the Community Preservation Committee, which recommended support for the program.
While the program is primarily focused on rental assistance, it may also provide mortgage assistance to households who own existing affordable deed-restricted units, the committee’s statement said.
Metro West Collaborative Development is a nonprofit community development corporation based in Newton.
Applicants for the program can contact Metro West at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-923-3505, ext. 5 to begin the application process. The application deadline is June 3, according to the city.
Program guidelines and other details are available at newtonma.gov/housingrelief.
John Hilliard can be reached at email@example.com.