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Rowan Helping Ministries trying to streamline rental assistance program

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — In an effort to speed up the process for Rowan Helping Ministries’ rental assistance program, the agency is inviting property owners to pre-register their rentals.
And after registering, the landlords can apply for assistance on their tenants’ behalf.
The assistance is offered through the agency’s Crisis Assistance Network program for people facing eviction
“It’s an enhancement to the policy. We are adding to the policy so that it can be an easier process to our clients and landlords,” said Executive Director Kyna Foster.
Those facing eviction fill out an application to determine if they qualify for assistance. The assistance helps those with official court-ordered evictions.
The agency will now also assist qualifying tenants whose landlords have been pre-approved as “landlord vendors.”
Rowan Helping Ministries has worked with more than 200 area landlords in the past. This week, those landlords received letters about the changes. Foster said if there are more landlords who would like to be on the vendors list, they should contact the agency.
And in addition to renters being able to apply to Rowan Helping Ministries for help, landlords on the vendors list can now do that too.
Landlords will have to write a letter indicating the past due amount and fill out a form that includes the amount needed to stop the eviction, a copy of the lease agreement and the renter’s history of paying rent on time.
The landlord also has to obtain references in order to be considered as a vendor. Also, the landlord’s property must undergo an inspection to ensure there are no structural code violations, Foster said.
The agency wants to make sure the clients they help live in a safe environment.
The changes take effect June 1.
“What it does, it speeds up our ability to help a client before they get too far behind on rent and helps avoid eviction costs, which are passed on to the client,” she said.
The process requires the landlord to complete an application for approval as a landlord vendor. The application must be notarized and the landlord must also fill out the IRS W-9 form.
The application will have to be renewed annually.
For more information, contact Rowan Helping Ministries at 704-637-6838.

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