Nebraska rolls out rental assistance program for non metropolitan areas


(Lincoln, NE) -- More financial assistance will be available for those living outside of metropolitan parts of Nebraska.

During a Monday morning coronavirus update, Governor Pete Ricketts announced the launch of the State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Ricketts says the program, funded through the U.S. Treasury as part of a federal coronavirus relief package. The latest round of coronavirus relief funding provided Nebraska with $200 million of Emergency Rental Assistance funding. Of that amount Ricketts says $158 million will be administered and distributed by the State. The State’s program provides assistance for both rent and certain utilities and is only available for renters and landlords, not homeowners. To be eligible, the tenant has to be making less than 80% of their county’s median income.

Some localities in Nebraska are receiving federal funds directly, and they will operate rental assistance programs separately from the State. These include the City of Lincoln, the City of Omaha, Douglas County, and Lancaster County. Residents in these locations will need to apply through their jurisdiction’s program rather than through the State’s program.

The Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA) is coordinating with the State to administer the rental assistance program. Starting Monday, Nebraskans can apply online at coronavirus.nebraska.gov.

Application approval requires:

  • A copy of the current lease with the applicant as a party to that lease.
  • Contact with the landlord for verification of current tenancy, amounts due, or other application information.
  • A demonstrated loss of household income as a result, either directly or indirectly, of COVID-19.
    • When an application for assistance is approved, payment will be made directly to the landlord or utility providers on behalf of the tenant.
    • Either the landlord or the tenant may apply for this assistance. Both the landlord and the tenant will be required to verify information and provide relevant documentation.
    • Only tenants whose household income is verified as less than 80% of the average median income of their county are eligible for assistance.
    • During the application process, required documents will be uploaded directly to the portal. The portal is mobile friendly to make the application process as easy as possible even for people without a home computer.

A call center is available to provide assistance from Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm (CT) and, at least the first weekend, on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (CT). The call center number is 1-833-500-8810.