Need help paying rent? Starting March 15, here’s how to get it.

Utah’s new rent assistance application will launch online in two weeks.

(Rick Egan | Tribune file photo) This Jan. 5, 2021, file photo shows new apartment buildings on 400 South in Salt Lake City. Utah renters can apply for rent assistance online beginning March 15.

Utahns facing housing instability because of the pandemic can apply for rent assistance through a new online portal starting March 15.

This new application will centralize the rent assistance process for the whole state. Previously, local community action program agencies administered rent assistance. As of Monday, these area rent assistance applications are unavailable to allow the state time to transition to the new program.

“While we recognize that a pause in accepting applications may cause concern, it will help to ensure the updated program runs smoothly and will allow local community action program agencies to work through their existing backlog of applications,” Nate McDonald, Department of Workforce Services deputy director said Monday in a news release.

The release encouraged renters worried about making their March payments to work with their landlords to create a payment plan.

Eligibility requirements for rent assistance include having a combined household income at or below 80% of area median income, qualifying for unemployment or otherwise experiencing significant financial difficulties because of the pandemic, and experiencing housing instability.

Expenses eligible to be covered by rent assistance include current rent, three months of prospective rent, past-due rent, some fees, security deposit, utilities and internet service.

Struggling renters can prepare to file their applications at rentrelief.utah.gov.

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