New program will help those affected by COVID-19 pandemic with housing

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(WIVB) – If you are on the verge of losing your home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials in Buffalo and Erie County are rolling out a program to help.

A task force of 40 city, county, and non-government agencies is drawing $10 million from CARES Act funding to set up the Live Well Erie and Buffalo Renters and Mortgage Assistance Program.

It’s designed specifically to help people whose lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced the program.

“Even though the eviction moratorium has been extended to Jan. 1, 2021,” Poloncarz said. “If it is not extended and you have not paid your rent, then the landlords will have the ability to evict you.”

Officials point out that the state moratorium and a moratorium ordered by federal health officials have been extended until the end of the year.

Homeowners and tenants whose ability to pay have been hampered by the virus will still have to pay what they owe.

“To do every single thing we can to prevent members of our community from being evicted from their apartments, or having their homes foreclosed upon,” Mayor Brown said.

Those who qualify can receive up to $3,500 to get caught up, but applicants must be able to show a direct link between their housing troubles and the COVID-19 pandemic- including losing hours, being laid off, being furloughed, or having your job close down.

If you have a household of four, you can qualify for assistance even if your household made up to $81,549.

The application period for the Live Well program opens Thursday, Oct. 1.

You can apply by calling 211 or clicking here.

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