Somerset Homelessness Trust Fund Rental Assistance Program.

Low income families in Somerset New Jersey can apply for assistance from the Homelessness Trust Fund Rental Assistance Program. A subsidy is provided from this federal government funded program, and the money will be used to pay the difference between 30 percent of the client’s income and their total monthly rent obligation.

In addition to the housing vouchers and financial assistance, the Somerset County Homelessness Trust Fund Rental Assistance Program will also offer case management services. The program will pay in total up to 12 months of rent. The case management services offered are intended to help people both become aware of and access government resources and other housing assistance. All of the focus is on helping people increase their chances of maintaining permanent housing within Somerset County New Jersey.

The long term goal is to reduce an individual’s dependence on public assistance and social services. So to that end, the initial goal of this rental assistance program is to help low income and working families achieve financial stability and stay in their homes or apartments.  So both short term funds for housing and paying rent is offered, as well as the critical self-sufficiency.

The rental assistance program will provide qualified low income individuals with a monthly subsidy on their housing costs, which will pay the difference between the household rent and 30 percent of the local resident’s income. The government funded program will set a maximum subsidy amount that can be provided for paying rent at $300 per month.

Qualifications for the Somerset New Jersey Homelessness Trust Fund Rental Assistance Program

There are a number of conditions that need to be met. They include the following. An applicant must be able to prove that they will be able to pay their rent and afford housing on their own within the next 12 months. This needs to be the case as an assistance provided is short term and the county will not pay someone’s rent indefinitely.





In addition, in order to qualify for this housing program, all adult members of the household must be within the income limits and be employed. They also need to have a formal lease in place with their landlord or apartment community manager. The income restrictions will range from about $35,000 to $58,000, with a key factor being the number of people in the household.

In addition to those qualifications, participants in the rental assistance program also need to complete a monthly household income and expense budget. They will also need to maintain monthly contact with the program case manager or social service worker from Somerset County NJ. All applicants will need to accept case management services and/or housing counseling that includes financial management, credit repair, employment and/or any other services that are deemed necessary for one to maintain permanent housing. And importantly, as indicated above, all financial aid is short term, so people need to be able to pay their own rent over the next year.

Those local Somerset residents who meet the criteria from the program will be served on a first-come, first-served basis after being screened by the County Community Development Office. Dial 908-541-5756 for more information about this program.





By Jon McNamara

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