New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency

COVID-19 Resources for NJ Residents

Opening March 22, 2021, the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program Phase II (CVERAP Phase II) will provide rental arrears and temporary rental assistance to low- and moderate-income households that have had a substantial reduction in income, have qualified for unemployment benefits, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due, directly, or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nan McKay & Associates has been authorized by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to assist in the administration of CVERAP Phase II and to communicate with applicants and landlords.

Applicants may be eligible for up to a maximum of twelve months of emergency rental assistance to help pay for rent arrears and future rent to the extent that funds are available. Families that have already received CVERAP funding through Phase I of the program, that need additional rent support, and have not yet received the maximum twelve months of emergency rental assistance can apply for additional funding.

More information including eligibility criteria can be found on DCA's website.

Learn more

At the direction of Governor Murphy, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency’s (NJHMFA) housing counseling initiative has expanded to include renters, who may be concerned with eviction, and homeowners who may need counseling to help prevent possible foreclosure. These services are available at no cost to you.

Our Foreclosure Mediation Assistance Program (FMAP) provides renter and pre-foreclosure counseling by utilizing a network of participating housing counselors in each county. The counseling is available immediately and remotely. 

The expanded program will now include pre-foreclosure counseling to provide upfront assistance to help homeowners avoid potential foreclosure. At the same time, the counseling made available to renters will guide them based on their unique situation.

Find a HUD-certified housing counseling counselor in your county

Renters can also review our list of NJHMFA Properties Affected by Rent Increase Suspension to see if their property is affected by the recent rent increase freeze. 

To learn more about your rights and the resources available to you as a renter during the COVID-19 crisis, visit New Jersey's Eviction Moratorium Information & Question Form.

Renters in New Jersey are protected from eviction and removal from their homes under Governor Murphy's Executive Order 106 until 60 days after the expiration of Executive Order 103. According to state law, if your lease expires and does not renew automatically, you may continue on a month-to-month basis as long as both you and your landlord agree to the arrangement and your landlord continues to accept rent payments. For more on the Governor’s Eviction Moratorium, please visit the Eviction Moratorium Information & Question Form.

Also protected from eviction until at least July 24, 2020 under federal legislation are renters who live in housing with a federally-backed mortgage (e.g., backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or the FHFA) or in housing that has been subsidized or financed by the federal government. View a summary for more on the federal evictions moratorium.

Renters can request that their landlords utilize their security deposit as rent payment as stipulated in Governor Murphy's Executive Order 128.

Renters living in certain residential buildings financed by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency are eligible for a rent freeze until the expiration of Executive Order 103. To see if your building is covered under the rent freeze, check this list.

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, national origin, religion, and disability, among other protected characteristics, even if the conduct at issue stems from concerns related to COVID-19. To learn more, please review the Division on Civil Rights’ recent guidance on civil rights and COVID-19. If you would like to speak to a housing investigator, please contact the Division on Civil Rights at 1-866-405-3050.

No household may have its electricity, gas service, or water service shut off for nonpayment. This moratorium on utility shutoffs is extended to at least March 15, 2021 and applies to all residential gas, electric and water utilities, both public and private.

In addition, utilities will not be charging late fees nor fees to reconnect services that have been disconnected. Although utility service shutoffs are still suspended, customers are still encouraged to set up payment plans with their utilities so they can begin paying their bills, if they are able, over a period of time.

If you are struggling to pay your utility bills, contact your utility company about assistance programs and payment plans, or visit BPU's "Assistance Programs" page for information about programs that can help.

Note: For any questions about your service, first contact your utility company. A list of public gas and electricity utility company phone numbers is available here.

If you are unable to resolve an issue with your utility company, you should contact BPU's Customer Assistance team by filling out this online form, or by calling (800) 624-0241 and leaving a voicemail.

Phone and Internet

No cable or telecommunications provider that provides residential internet and voice services to New Jersey residents shall terminate these services due to nonpayment before November 15, 2020.

After November 15, cable and telecommunications providers are required to enroll customers with an already existing account in an interest free payment plan of at least 12 equal monthly installments, including the balance already due, prior to disconnecting the customers service.

For households with school-age children who need Internet connectivity for remote-learning, Internet shutoffs will not be permitted through March 15, 2021. If a household experiences a change of circumstances where school age children will be using their home Internet service for school, the cable and telecommunications company will be required to reconnect that Internet service.

 

Health Insurance: If you do not have health insurance, or lose coverage, you may be eligible for free or low-cost coverage through NJ FamilyCare, New Jersey's publicly funded health insurance program. In addition, individuals may purchase health insurance on the State's new health exchange, GetCoveredNJ, and may be eligible for subsidy assistance and premium tax credits. Learn more here.

Prescription Drug Refills: Medicaid and other health insurance must provide coverage of prescription drug refills even when the covered person has not yet reached the scheduled refill date. Learn more here.

Job Assistance: If you've lost your job and are seeking help, you are not alone. Connect with benefits and resources you need while you are trying to safely get back to work. Learn more here.

Unemployment Benefits: If your work has been affected by COVID-19, you likely qualify for Unemployment benefits. Learn more here or check your eligibility for benefits programs with here.

Food Assistance: If you need food assistance, you may be eligible for NJ SNAP, New Jersey's food assistance program. To learn more go to NJSNAP.gov or to apply go to NJHELPS.org. New Jersey WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) is allowing remote access to benefits and additional food items. Learn more here.

Cash Assistance: Work First New Jersey (WFNJ), which includes Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and General Assistance (GA), provides monthly cash. Learn more here.

Family Leave Benefits: If you must care for children or family members due to the coronavirus outbreak, you may be eligible for federal emergency Childcare FMLA or New Jersey Family Leave Insurance (FLI). It's against the law for an employer to retaliate against you for taking FLI, and your job may be protected under the Family Leave Act. Learn more here or check your eligibility for benefits programs with here.

Temporary Disability Benefits: If you're unable to work due to illness, self-quarantine, or pregnancy, you may be able to apply for Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI). It's against the law for an employer to retaliate against you for taking TDI, and your job may be protected under the Family Leave Act. Learn more here or check your eligibility for benefits programs with here.

Sick Leave: If you are sick, need time to care for others, or are unable to work due to the public health emergency, you may eligible for New Jersey Earned Sick Leave, or emergency federal paid sick leave, paid by your employer. Learn more here or check your eligibility for benefits programs with here.

Legal Aid: If you are in need of legal assistance or advice, there are many legal services available for free to low-income New Jerseyans on a range of issues including debt, domestic violence, eviction, applying for public benefits, immigration, and more. Learn more here.

Job Protection: A new law prohibits employers from firing, demoting or otherwise punishing workers if they take time off because they have or are likely to have COVID-19. Learn more here.

Job Search: Business across New Jersey are looking to hire thousands of workers, including those who lost their jobs or have had hours reduced as a result of COVID-19. Learn more here.

Resources for Businesses: For information on loans, programs, or resources to support businesses impacted by COVID-19, visit the State of New Jersey's COVID-19 Business Information Hub. Learn more here.

Resources for Freelancers, Contractors, and Gig Workers: The recently enacted CARES ACT extends unemployment benefits to freelancers, gig workers and independent contractors, who typically are not eligible. Learn more here.

Eviction Protection: During the public health emergency, individuals cannot be removed as the result of an eviction or foreclosure proceeding. If you are a renter facing hardship, you may be eligible for housing assistance or for housing counseling. Learn more here.

Mortgage Relief: If you are facing economic hardship as a result of COVID-19, you may be able to request mortgage payment forbearance for up to 90 days. Learn more here.

Homelessness Services: New Jersey residents experiencing homelessness can get help with food, shelter, and finances. Learn more here.

Child Care Resources: If you are an essential employee, you can get support for child care costs. Learn more here.

Mental Health Resources: Help is available for individuals feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or suicidal. Learn more here.

Substance Use/Addiction Treatment: Help is available for individuals seeking assistance for substance use disorders. Learn more here.

Resources for Immigrants: Help is available for immigrant families and individuals in New Jersey, including information on COVID-19 in a variety of languages, resoures and assistance for immigrants, and information on immigration enforcement policy. Learn more here.

COVID-19 Testing and Treatment for Undocumented Immigrants: Free testing and treatment is available at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) regardless of your immigration status or if you have insurance. Learn more here.

Resources for Veterans: Help is available for veterans and their families to cope with the stress of the coronavirus outbreak. Learn more here.

Domestic Violence Hotlines: Help is available for survivors of domestic violence. Learn more here.

Resources for Older Residents: Help is available for older New Jerseyans including meal deliveries, food benefits, prescription drug refills, and Medicare counseling. Learn more here.

Resources for Individuals with Disabilities: Help is available for individuals with disabilities including programs to save money, resources during an emergency, and updated hospitalization procedures. Learn more here.

Assistance for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Resources are available for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Learn more here.

Energy Assistance: LIHEAP helps eligible NJ residents with heating and cooling bills and makes provisions for emergency heating system services and emergency fuel assistance. Learn more here.

Note: To find short-term, emergency resources in your county, visit 211's COVID-19 page and scroll down.