Updated Jan. 21, 2021
Q: Am I eligible to receive assistance?
To be eligible, you or a member of your household must:
- Be an Idaho resident,
- Legally reside in the United States,
- Meet the program’s income limits,
- Be unable to pay rent or utilities because of a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic,
- Not be receiving a federal housing subsidy.
Q: I am sub-letting my housing from another person, am I eligible?
No. The lease agreement must be with the owner or property manager, not a renter of the leased space.
Q: I’m a homeowner and need help paying my mortgage, can you help me with that type of assistance?
No. The Housing Preservation Program provides assistance to renters who are unable to pay their rent or utilities because of financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you anticipate you’ll have difficulty making your mortgage payment, we encourage you to contact your loan servicer. If you have an Idaho Housing loan, there are options available. Please review the “Forbearance information for HomeloanServ borrowers” here.
Q: I am in a rent-to-own agreement, am I eligible for assistance?
No. Because there is an ownership interest in the unit, you are not eligible. However, if you own a manufactured home and have to lease your lot, you may be eligible for the lot/space rent.
Q: If I’ve already received assistance, can I seek additional assistance?
Possibly, but you must submit another application to be considered for additional assistance. Eligible households may be assisted for past due rent and/or utilities and up to three months of future rent and/or utilities. Additional assistance may be approved when continued need is demonstrated and eligibility has been re-determined. Households with lower incomes that have not yet received any (or less) assistance may be prioritized over other households.
Q: How much assistance can I expect?
The amount of assistance received by each household will be based on each household’s circumstance. No household may receive more than a total of 12 months of assistance.
Q: I am not past due yet, but I have been furloughed or laid off. I know I will not be able to pay my rent next month. Should I apply?
Upon confirming your demonstrated risk and verifying your inability to pay upcoming rent, you will be considered for prospective rent/utility assistance. If you are seeking assistance with only future rent owed, you must wait to apply until 15 days prior to your rent due date. This is to prioritize applicants with the most urgent need.
Q: My rent is due today, can you submit a payment today?
No. Application review and processing may take up to 7-10 days. We will contact the applicant and payee upon payment approval and issuance. Please allow an additional 7-10 for delivery by mail.
Q: Will you cover late fees?
Yes. Assistance may cover non-excessive late fees.
Q: Will you make negotiations with my utility company/landlord?
No. IHFA does not act as a negotiator between a renter and their landlord or utility provider. Consider contacting Idaho Legal Aid for legal counsel.
Q: How does the landlord receive payment?
If the payee is an existing IHFA vendor, an electronic payment may be issued. Most payments will be sent via check. Payment should arrive within 7-10 days after notification of an approved application.
Q: Will Low-Income Housing Tax Credit properties, or recipients of other rental subsidies be eligible?
Renters receiving a federal rental assistance payment or subsidy (Section 8, Housing Choice Voucher, CARES Act, etc.) are not eligible to receive Housing Preservation Program assistance. Renters residing in an income-based property with affordable rents (e.g., Tax Credit property), but not receiving a federal rental subsidy, are eligible to receive assistance.
Q: What jurisdiction do you cover?
Assistance can be paid in all Idaho counties.
Q: Can non-citizens apply?
Yes. Applicants must have at least one member of their household legally eligible to reside in the U.S.
Q: I don’t know when I will start earning income or when I will be financially stable again, will I still qualify?
Yes. Assistance will not require proof of ability to satisfy future housing expenses.
Q: Will you help cover a rental application fee?
No. The program is designed to assist households with current rent and utility obligations and, and on rare occasions, security deposits.
Q: My landlord is trying to evict me regardless of bringing my balance current, can he do that?
IHFA does not provide legal counsel. Consider contacting Idaho Legal Aid for legal counsel.
Q: I need a place to stay temporarily, will your funds cover a motel stay?
No. Assistance is intended to help households preserve their current housing by paying rent and utility obligations that the household is unable to pay because of a pandemic-related financial hardship.
Q: Can I be reimbursed for a payment I have already made, but could not afford?
Q: What happens if I don’t have a phone where I can be reached for follow-up?
Applicants must be accessible by either phone or email. Upon submission of your application, you need to ensure that you are regularly checking your email, including the spam/junk folder, for our messages. You may provide a release of information for IHFA to communicate with a representative of yours that has an active phone number or email.
Q: What documents do I need to provide?
Applicants must provide a copy of their lease agreement, a Certification of Program Eligibility, proof of past due rent or utilities or an eviction notice, proof of income (or lack of income), a state-issued ID, and a Release of Information.
Q: What if I don’t have all the required verifications?
You may submit an application without attaching all required documentation. However, this will most likely lengthen the screening process. We will contact each applicant within seven business days to request missing information or documentation. Upon submission of your application, please ensure your voicemail box is set up and can receive messages, and that you are regularly checking your email, including spam/junk folder, for our messages.
Q: I do not have any income, or recently lost my income.
How do I prove this? In the absence of proof of income or loss of income, you will be required to sign the Zero-Loss of Income Certification.
Q: Can I request assistance with both my rent and my utilities in the same application?
Q: I don’t have a copy of my lease agreement, can you still help me?
A lease agreement is a required document. You may still submit a request. However, you should contact your landlord to obtain a copy of your lease agreement. We will contact you within seven days of submitting your application to request a copy of your lease agreement. Upon submission of your application, please ensure your voicemail box is set up and can receive messages, and that you are regularly checking your email, including spam/junk folder, for our messages.
Q: I don’t have an eviction notice yet, and I don’t want one. Can I show you my rental ledger or will a statement from my landlord suffice?
A notice of eviction is not required. A notice from your landlord indicating the amount of rent past due (and for which period of time) is acceptable documentation. A ledger created by the renter is not sufficient documentation of need.
Q: My landlord is an immediate relative. Can I still receive assistance?
No, you may not receive assistance if you rent from an immediate relative. An exception can be made through a reasonable accommodation. The applicant will need to provide a disability-related need to rent from the relative that is verified by a knowledgeable professional.
Q: I need help applying. What do I do?
The program is equipped to receive assistance requests via telephone. Simply call 1-855-452-0801 and allow the customer service agent to act as your proxy in submitting your application. They will let you know what information and documents are required to receive assistance. Upon review of your application, program staff will ask you to supply required documentation via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), fax (208-600-0527), and mail (PO BOX 7899, Boise, ID 83707). Local housing authorities, community action agencies, utility companies, libraries, your landlord, churches and local government offices may be able to help you with scanning and submitting documentation via email or fax. All documents must include the applicant’s name and be addressed to the attention of the Housing Preservation Program.
Q: What are the terms of assistance? By receiving assistance, the tenant and payee agree to the following terms:
- Assistance payments will be made directly to the payee (landlord/utility company);
- The tenant does not intend to vacate the unit during the period of assistance;
- The landlord will not evict the tenant for non-payment of rent or related fees during the period of assistance;
- The tenant has no right to the assistance funds paid. If the unit is vacated during the period of assistance, assistance will be pro-rated and refunded to the program, not the tenant;
- Funds are not to be used for any costs other than rent (e.g., move-out, damage, unit transfer costs, etc.);
- The owner/landlord is not residing in the rental unit;
- The owner/landlord is not a relative of the renter;
- The tenant does not receive a federal housing subsidy from another program;
- There is not duplicate assistance being paid for the period of assistance.
Disclaimer: Program details may be supplemented or changed by additional guidance from the Secretary of the Treasury or as Idaho Housing and Finance determines necessary. This project is supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number 20-1892-0-1-806 awarded to Idaho Housing and Finance Association by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.