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Rent relief assistance now available for elderly and disabled CT residents

FILE - A "For Rent" sign is displayed outside a building in Philadelphia, June 22, 2022. Federal regulators fined credit-reporting agency TransUnion a total of $23 million for tenant screening and security freeze failures on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission fined TransUnion $15 million because the company did not take steps to ensure the rental background checks that landlords use to decide who gets housing were accurate. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Matt Rourke
FILE: Qualified applicants can apply for rental rebates through October 1.

The Connecticut Renters’ Rebate program is now accepting applications. The income based program provides elderly and disabled residents who qualify, with money they can use towards rent or utilities.

Renters’ rebates can be up to $900 for married couples and $700 for individuals. The average rebate is about $500, according to Martin Heft, undersecretary at the state’s Office of Policy and Management (OPM).

“They go up slightly each year with cost of living, for that they do include rent, utility payments that are actually made by the renter.”

For this year, the income qualification rose to $43,800 for an unmarried individual and for a married couple it’s $53,400, Heft said.

More than 45,000 elderly renters applied for the program last year, according to an annual report on the state’s rental assistance. About 42,000 of the applicants were unmarried. Hartford had the largest number of applicants last year, with 5,008 applicants.

Many recipients rely on the funds early in the year to help with home heating costs, Heft said. He encouraged residents to begin applying for the program right away now that the application process is open.

“Especially over the holidays when payments are made late October, November, they look forward to that, or to help pay upcoming heating bills,” Heft said. “You have till October 1, but don't wait six months to file if you've got your paperwork and everything ready. Go down and get it done early because as time goes on people forget.”

The application period opened on April 1 and runs through Oct. 1. Recipients should receive their rebate in late October.

Abigail is Connecticut Public's housing reporter, covering statewide housing developments and issues, with an emphasis on Fairfield County communities. She received her master's from Columbia University in 2020 and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019. Abigail previously covered statewide transportation and the city of Norwalk for Hearst Connecticut Media. She loves all things Disney and cats.

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