Have you experienced financial difficulties or fallen behind on housing payments due to unemployment, illness, or another issue that occurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic? On Sept. 1, the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners approved a policy authorizing deployment of community resilience programs aimed at helping families and individuals with housing and emergency assistance due to COVID-19. Beginning Sept. 15, Otter Tail County will take applications from households needing emergency assistance with transportation, utilities, furnace/air conditioning replacement, funeral, and medical expenses due to COVID-19.

If you have a past due rent payment (includes lot rent), mortgage payment, contract for deed payment, utility payment, other housing related expenses incurred after March 1, 2020, and are a resident of Otter Tail County you may be eligible for the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP). Please note, eligible households seeking assistance for housing or utilities must apply for CHAP before applying for Otter Tail County Emergency Assistance. To apply for CHAP please call 211 or visit www.211unitedway.org.

The CARES Act Emergency Assistance program provides housing and other forms of assistance to individuals and families impacted by the public health pandemic. The funds will be used in Otter Tail County to assist households COVID-19 related expenses incurred after March 1, 2020. For a complete list of allowable items for payment please visit the website or call the Otter Tail County Human Services Department.


Who qualifies for the program?

• Residents of Otter Tail County.

• The household’s gross income must be at or below 300% of federal poverty guidelines (FPG) at the time of application.

• The household must have spent at least 50% of previous 30 days income on essential needs: rent/mortgage, utilities, food, medical expenses, child care expenses, vehicle expenses (if necessary, for employment or medical needs), other expenses paid to avoid a threat to the physical health or safety of any household member.

• Residents will be asked to provide documentation to support eligibility requirements of the program. After forms are completed, they will be reviewed for eligibility. Individuals may be contacted for additional information before receiving final approval or denial. Approvals are subject to funding availability.

For more information and to complete the application for the CARES Act Emergency Assistance funding, for assistance in completing the application or to have an interpreter, please visit Otter Tail County’s website ottertailcountymn.us or call 218-998-8150.

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