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The state’s overwhelmed COVID-19 rental assistance program is being reopened to new applicants, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Wednesday. In this round, the program will for the first time accept applications directly from small landlords.

The Temporary Rental Housing Assistance Program (TRHAP) has received a second round of funding to help applicants seeking assistance with residential rent payments delayed by financial stress related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

TRHAP provides landlords with up to $4,000 in rental assistance on behalf of approved tenants. During the first round, more than $2.2 million in residential rent relief was distributed to landlords on behalf of 826 households out of $10 million initially budgeted, Lamont’s office said. The program stopped accepting new applicants this summer after being overwhelmed with pleas for help.

The program has now been topped up with $40 million in federal pandemic aid the state received earlier this year. The state is also offering $10 million in mortgage relief payments to homeowners, $5 million in assistance to renters who were facing eviction before the pandemic, $5.8 million budgeted to rehouse people currently homeless or leaving prison and without a home and $2.5 million to help house undocumented immigrants

“Ensuring access to safe and secure housing is a critical public health component of controlling the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and the need for financial relief on behalf of both tenants and landlords is significant,” Lamont said in a statement. “This pandemic has caused widespread housing concerns in all corners of our country, which is why I have been stressing to federal officials that we need to expand this type of assistance even further. Stable housing is a vital component of getting our economy moving again, ensuring access to school, and protecting the health of our neighborhoods.”

Lamont said several administrative changes have made to the program to speed payments after the CT Mirror revealed that only two families had received state rental help from the TRHAP program by late September. The Department of Housing has worked with Connecticut Housing Finance Authority and the state’s housing counseling agencies to streamline the application process, increase the number of staff processing applications, and create a web platform to accept applications from renters.

“The implementation of the programmatic redesign has allowed to increase our processing time and get assistance to individuals and families faster,” Connecticut Housing Commissioner Mosquera-Bruno said. “We have reached out to stakeholders and municipalities with new information explaining the changes to the program and the intake reopening. We are asking landlords and tenants to continue to work collaboratively so that tenants can remain housed and landlords can stay above water financially.”

To apply for TRHAP, visit the Department of Housing’s website at The website includes a status lookup tool providing applicants with information on the status of their application. It is updated once per week, and applicants must provide an email address with their unique ID to look up their status. In addition, an applicant’s record must be accepted in order for there to be a unique ID assignment and a valid status.