East Hartford program helping tenants pay thousands of dollars in rent

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EAST HARTFORD, Conn., (WTNH)– The state is trying to get the word out about a program designed to help people who owe back rent not get evicted from their homes. The latest stop on the information tour was East Hartford.

At the East Hartford farmers market, you can find the freshest fruits and vegetables, of course, but you can also find thousands of dollars to pay to help pay your back rent. That is if you qualify financially.

“And if they may have back rent due because of job loss or loss of income in their household that’s tied to the pandemic since March of last year,” explained Laurence Burnsed, East Hartford Director of Health and Human Services.

It’s called UniteCT, and right now it has millions of dollars available to help tenants pay back their landlords if the tenant was adversely affected by the pandemic. One big sticking point is that tenants and landlords have to go through the process together.

“There has to be kind of an agreement moving forward with both the landlord and the tenant, that way they can resolve any kind of back pay,” Burnsed said.

Burnsed also said about 250 people in town have gotten a total of about $1.8 million in help. Another 250 are going through the process. He wants landlords and tenants to know about UniteCT before the state’s eviction moratorium runs out at the end of September. It’s a way landlords can get some of the money they are owed, without seeing the crisis of mass evictions.

“Living instability, potential temporary homelessness due to evictions, let’s address this because, when we’re talking about evictions and homelessness, that is part of our overall health and wellness of individuals,” said Burnsed.

There is money available. There are people available to help you through the process. You just need to start that process. For more information, you can go to: https://portal.ct.gov/DOH/DOH/Programs/UniteCT

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