Duluth Orgs. Promote Rent, Utility Help For Those Behind On Payments During Pandemic

DULUTH, Minn. — Leaders from multiple organizations and the city of Duluth got together at AICHO on Wednesday to promote resources that can help those who are facing evictions and utility shut-offs as we go into the winter.

Mayor Emily Larson said the city is definitely seeing a jump in the number of people experiencing homelessness, which is why she, along with AICHO and One Roof Community Housing, shined a light on a program spurred from the pandemic that can help.

It’s called RentHelpMN, which has millions in funding to help those struggling to keep up with housing expenses because of pandemic-related issues.

Local organizations have become designated “navigators” that can help people through the sign-up process.

The money goes directly to landlords and utility companies on behalf of those who are behind on their payments.

Landlords can also recommend their tenants to this rent help program, but can’t sign them up for it.

“There is plenty of money, it is available for back-rent, it is available for future rent, it is available for utilities,” Mayor Larson said. “There is no judgment, this is what we do as a state and as a country as we try our best to take care of each other.”

Those interested in applying must meet certain qualifications.

“Eligible renters are those who are behind on rent, a Minnesota resident, and those who do not exceed 80% of the area median income,” Carmen Volk with AICHO explained. “If you qualify you can receive up to 18 months in assistance.”

You can visit the One Roof Central Hillside Community Center for in-person help with the application process. You call also call 218-206-9298 or email sjaeger@1roofhousing.org to get started.

The organizations also promoted legal advice for those with overdue payments.

You can call 218-391-7679 to speak with Teri Carlson, the tenant landlord associate on legal issues regarding overdue rent, evictions, and what your rights and responsibilities are.

You can also reach out to the Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota or call 218-623-8100.





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