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New assistance programs available to help cover housing-related expenses for individuals and families impacted by COVID-19 Olmsted County COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Program and COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program
New programs are being implemented by Olmsted County Family Support and Assistance to help individuals and families adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic: the Olmsted County COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Program and the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP). Funds will assist those impacted by job loss, reduced work hours, illness, or other COVID-19 related circumstances. Assistance will cover past due rent payments, mortgage payments, homeowner association dues, contract for deed payments, homeowner insurance payments, utility payments, or other housing-related expenses that incurred after March 1, 2020. Anyone eligible for this assistance is encouraged to apply for both programs now. There are two different applications to be completed:
• Application for the Olmsted County COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Program
• Application for the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP): Visit www.211unitedway.org or text “MNRENT” or “MNHOME” to 898-211. You may also call 211 (Toll free: 1-800-543-7709). Eligibility detailsYou must be an Olmsted County resident, meet income guidelines, and have a qualifying expense that is past due because of the public health emergency due to unemployment, loss of income, illness, or other COVID-19 related issue. Eligible expenses COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) funds may be used only for past due housing- and utility-related expenses. Only past due amounts incurred since March 1, 2020 will be considered. To learn more about CHAP, visit the Minnesota Housing website. Payment processing Olmsted County eligibility specialists will review all applications, verify proof of income and past due expense(s), and interview the head of household by phone. If an individual or household has a qualifying expense, funds must be paid directly to the landlord, mortgage company, utility company, or any other identified entity to which the payment is owed. Assistance will not be paid directly to individuals or households. Application deadline Applications for both programs are being accepted now and eligible individuals are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. How to apply • To apply online for Olmsted County COVID-19 Emergency Assistance, visit ApplyMN. If you do not wish to apply online, you may download the application and return it to Olmsted County by: • Emailing PAQ@co.olmsted.mn.us. • Mailing them to 2117 Campus Dr SE Suite 100 Rochester, MN 55904.• Dropping them in the yellow drop box in the 2117 Campus Dr. SE parking lot. • To apply for COVID-19 Housing Assistance, visit www.211unitedway.org or text “MNRENT” or “MNHOME” to 898-211. You may also call 211 (Toll free: 1-800-543-7709). Note: No matter how you apply, it is important to provide Olmsted County Family Support and Assistance with proof of household income for the last 30 days and verification of the past due expense. Olmsted County Family Support and Assistance contact information• Call 507-328-6500 (bi-lingual staff and interpreters are available).• Email questions and completed documents to PAQ@co.olmsted.mn.us. • Fax: 507-328-7956.• Mail: 2117 Campus Dr. SE Suite 100, Rochester, MN 55904. Please note: The 2117 Campus Dr. SE building is currently closed to public access, but staff are available by phone. If you have any questions, please contact 507-328-6500 or email PAQ@co.olmsted.mn.us. The Olmsted County COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Program is funded by county, state, and federal dollars allocated to Olmsted County through several sources including the Minnesota Housing COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program; Olmsted County Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding; as well as other County Emergency Assistance allocations.
Emergency Assistance Program and Emergency General Assistance Program is a short-term assistance program for a current shelter/utility crisis that eligible households cannot meet with their own resources.
Group Residential Housing (GRH) is a state-funded income supplement program that pays for room-and-board costs for low-income adults who have been placed in a licensed or registered setting with which a county human service agency has negotiated a monthly rate.
How does it work?
Where can I learn more?
Heading Home Minnesota is a statewide initiative to prevent and end homelessness. Heading Home Minnesota Action Plan (1 KB)
Olmsted County is one of several counties across the state which has developed local strategies to end homelessness. The vision of the Heading Home Olmsted Plan is a community where all persons have options for safe temporary or emergency housing and choices for a permanent place to live.
We seek to prevent and end long-term homelessness in Olmsted County by developing local housing and supportive services that use evidence-based models and combine public and private resources.
Heading Home Olmsted has resulted in the following supportive housing collaborations for disabled individuals and transitional housing for ex-offenders.
The Francis a 17-unit efficiency apartment building in downtown Rochester that serves adults diagnosed with a mental illness or substance use disorder who meet the definition of chronic long-term homeless. The Olmsted County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (OCHRA) and Olmsted County Adult Services partner to provide supportive housing at
Damascus Way serves to assist corrections clients during their transition from incarceration to community living.
Silver Creek Corner is a 40 bed supportive housing facility which houses homeless individuals who are chronic inebriates. This project is a collaboration between the Olmsted County HRA, Center City Housing Corporation and Olmsted County Adult and Family Services. The project is located at the Olmsted County Campus, north of the 2117 building. Center City Housing Corp. is the developer and property manager for the project. Olmsted County Adult Services provides housing support and case management to the individuals residing there.
The project is modeled after the New San Marco, in Duluth and the Rivercrest Apartments in St. Cloud, similar successful projects developed by Center City Housing Corporation.
In the JAMA study, published in April, 2009 University of Washington public health researchers monitored 95 homeless chronic alcoholics before and after they moved into a supportive housing project, and compared them with 39 others waiting to get in.
Before the supportive house, the median cost of each of the 95 was $4,000 a month. After a year in the wet house the cost per person dropped to $960, mostly for housing.
The New San Marco Apartments in Duluth, MN opened their doors in May 2007. This video highlights the CD Supportive Housing Project and observations from the community. To gain insight on the housing program proposed in Olmsted County please take a look at this video as we are hoping to duplicate the success they have had in Duluth.
If you need to obtain a state identification (ID) card and do not have a permanent address, Olmsted County has a process in place to assist you.
Olmsted County Government CenterVital Records and Licensing151 4th St. SERochester, MN 55904-3709
If you have any questions about this process, please contact Vital Records and Licensing at 507 328-7660.