Bedford Housing Trust Votes to Continue Rental Relief Program

Bedford’s Rental Relief program is once again open to applications from eligible families who need assistance with rent or utilities.

The Municipal Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT) voted at their Thursday, June 1 meeting to create a new funding cycle in the amount of $60,000 to continue helping families with rent or utilities.

In January, the Housing Trust voted $60,000 that was used to support 12 families, but those funds were exhausted by May. Liz Rust, Regional Housing Services Office, which administers the program, said there were two additional families on the waiting list when the funds ran out, which prompted the Trust members to push for another round of relief funding.

In answer to a question from member Alice Sun about how many times an applicant could come back for help, Economic Development Director Jeff King said, “The way this particular program was designed it is one time for six months.”

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King outlined the confluence of factors that brought the program into existence: rising rental and utility costs, and general economic conditions resulting from the pandemic put extreme pressure on low and moderate-income families. In the four-month period from January to May, the disbursements ranged from a high amount of $13,000 to an average payout of $2,000 to $4,000 for most of the recipients. The money is paid directly to the landlords or to the utility company.

To be eligible, a household must meet certain income levels and be spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent. The eligibility requirements are outlined in this flyer:

https://www.bedfordma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2110/Rent-Relief-Program-Flier

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