TRENTON, NJ  -- Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced on Friday that assistance will be available for residents facing evictions as a result of the financial hardships caused by the virus induced economic crisis. The County has been awarded nearly $11 million to help local renters avoid eviction during the ongoing pandemic.

The grant, which was made possible by the federal stimulus package signed in December, "will focus on the most vulnerable residents in our community to assist them in avoiding eviction during the pandemic,” Hughes said.

Funds will be available to pay past-due rent and utilities, and to help keep people in their homes. Online applications will open on March 1.

Eligible applicants must be Mercer County renters who qualify for unemployment or have experienced a reduction in household income and incurred significant costs or experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19.  In addition, applicants must demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability such as evidence of a past-due utility or rent notice, or an eviction notice. Grant recipients will have a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income.

The Mercer County Board of Social Services will screen and certify applicants and will work with its community partners to ensure that eligible community members, particularly those facing eviction, get access to the resources in order to keep families from becoming homeless. Mercer County landlords are also encouraged to have their tenants apply for the program if assistance is needed.

"The plan is to process applications as quickly as possible to get funds in the hands of tenants and landlords who are suffering through this crisis," added Hughes. 

For more information, contact the Mercer County Board of Social Services CLICK HERE , call (609) 389-3575, or email  Social workers from the Board are available Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to assist your household. 

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