Community Mediation Minnesota (CMM) has been processing applications for housing assistance through the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) since September 1 and is helping over 1000 Minnesotan households access financial assistance for housing. CHAP provides housing assistance payments to help prevent eviction, prevent homelessness, and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners.
CMM believes that the three primary housing stability resources are financial, legal and mediation resources and that these work better when combined rather than siloed. So, in addition to processing the financial assistance, CMM is offering free mediation services through our member Community Dispute Resolution Programs (CDRPs).
Mediation Opportunities within CHAP:
- Assisting an applicant and a vendor (e.g., landlord or utility company) to work together to complete an application because one or the other is struggling to get their part done.
- The applicant has a complaint against the CMM CHAP team. It can be difficult and frustrating to complete this application process and that frustration can be focused on the people who are trying to help while also following someone else’s rules (MHFA).
- A request within the application is denied or partially awarded.
Additional Mediation Opportunities – even if not in CHAP
- When a tenant mentions a landlord is threatening eviction or nonrenewal of lease (not allowed during the Minnesota/Federal moratoria which will last at least until Dec 31)
- When a household receives a disconnect notice from a utility company.
- When a tenant indicates they would like to or are in the process of moving somewhere else. Both the landlord and tenant benefit from a mediated agreement that brings a lease to an early end. Through mediation, the tenant isn’t at risk of being charged for the months remaining on their lease AND the landlord has a legal right to re-rent their space.
Are you Eligible to Apply?
To qualify for housing assistance, Minnesota households must meet all the following criteria:
- Income at or below 300% of federal poverty guidelines, with a preference for those at or below
200% of federal poverty guidelines.
- Have an eligible expense that was incurred after March 1, 2020 that is past due. Housing assistance funds can only be used for eligible expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020.
- Be unable to make one or more payments owed because of the public health emergency due to unemployment, illness, or another COVID-19 related issue.
For additional information, please click here: COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program.
If you wish to schedule a mediation, contact us.