Senate President Stephen Sweeney
Deputy Speaker John Burzichelli
Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro

Ashley Balcerzak, NorthJersey.com

New Jersey renters can now apply to receive up to a year’s worth of housing assistance after the state launched its online application for $353 million worth of grants for low- and moderate-income households behind on payments due to the COVID pandemic.

Those who have missed rental payments since March 13, 2020, can apply for assistance at the Department of Community Affairs website at njdca.onlinepha.com. The application launched Monday at 9 a.m. and will remain open until the state receives enough applications to distribute all of the $353 million.

More than 350,000 New Jersey households are behind on rent payments, according to U.S. Census data from late February. Renters cannot be kicked out of their homes during New Jersey’s eviction moratorium, but landlords are still submitting tens of thousands of eviction filings in court for nonpayment of rent.

Rental assistance payments could be distributed directly to landlords as early as May. To qualify for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, applicants must:

Be a New Jersey resident 18 years or older.

Qualify for unemployment or have lost income due to the pandemic, because they lost their job or have to pay for additional costs such as child care or funeral expenses.

Be at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability. Have a household income at or below 80% of the area median income. For example, a two-person family in Bergen County cannot bring in more than $62,800 to be eligible. To view the maximum income limit of your county, visit nj.gov/dca/cverap2.shtml.

For those who meet the eligibility requirements, the state will choose participants through a randomized lottery process.

Property managers and owners can apply on behalf of their tenants if the tenant signs the application, and landlords must notify the tenant when the application is submitted. The DCA encourages landlords to come up with a “reasonable payment plan” for any arrears not covered by the rental assistance, and agree not to file for eviction for non-payment of rent while they receive the grant funding.

The state estimates that it could help more than 30,000 households with this round of federal stimulus signed in December 2020. Last year, more than 15,000 received rental assistance from a $91.75 million first-round pot.

If households received less than a year’s worth of rental assistance from the first round, they can still apply for additional funds in this latest round. Only one person per household can apply.

If an applicant is selected for rental assistance, their finances will be reviewed every three months to verify that they still need help. If they no longer need assistance, funds will be directed to other families.

The program will also help very low-income households and people experiencing homelessness with six months of future rent. It can also help pay for security deposits and case management for those experiencing homelessness.

If applicants need assistance, they can call the Department of Community Affairs at 609-490-4550 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. seven days a week.

District Offices

Gloucester County

Kingsway Commons
935 Kings Highway, Suite 400
West Deptford, NJ 08086
Phone: (856) 251-9801
Fax: (856) 251-9752


Salem/Cumberland Counties

The Finlaw Building
199 East Broadway, Suite G
Salem, NJ 08079
Phone: (856) 339-0808 or
             (856) 455-1011
Fax: (856) 339-9626