Rent and Utility Assistance: From the COVID-Relief Program

Currently CLOSED

The COVID-relief program is the only rent assistance program at SELF. When this program is open, it also provides utility assistance to those who qualify. You will need to demonstrate how the COVID pandemic caused your household financial hardship. Please note funding is not guaranteed.

* COVID-impact is not required for the utility assistance programs listed on the Utility Assistance program page.

Waitlist is Full: The waitlist for emergency rent and utility assistance for those affected by COVID closed due to high demand on April 12, 2024.

If you submitted a waitlist form prior to Apri 12, you will contacted when your waitlist form is assigned to agency staff. Your waitlist spot will only be prioritized if you provide a notice from the court (with court date) or utility disconnect notice (with disconnect date). A notification from your landlord (i.e. 3-day notice) does not change your priority status on the waitlist. There is no way to calculate your waitlist time because the names on the list move based on the prioritization given to those who provide a notice from the court (with court date) or utility disconnect notice (with disconnect date).

Frequently Asked Questions – Applying for Emergency Assistance for Rent and Utilities

  • How long before I receive a call from SELF?
    • Because of our waitlist, a SELF staff person will not be in contact until your application moves from the waitlist to a staff member for processing. Waitlist times depend upon the risk of eviction/disconnection per applicant, as well as the length of the waitlist.
  • How long does it take to process the application?
    • It depends. Applicants need to ensure they have included ALL of the documents requested by their case worker. Once all the documents are provided it will be given to administrative staff for final approval. Once approved, a check will be forwarded in 2-3 weeks.
  • If I have applied previously, can I apply again and do I have to submit new documents?
    • You can re-apply again 30 days from the date of your last application. Your new application will be reviewed to determine eligibility for assistance. Additional funding is not guaranteed.
  • How long do I have to provide missing documents?
    • You have five (5) days to provide ALL the documents needed to apply.
  • What happens if my landlord does not want to provide information?
    • SELF will contact the landlord to provide information about the availability of the program.
  • Can I get assistance if I am not behind on my bills?
    • Yes, you can received assistance even if you are not behind on bills.
  • Can you assist with fees and court costs?
    • We may be able to assist with late fees or court costs. We can not assist with attorney fees.
  • Can you assist with utility bills?
    • Yes, SELF can assist with utility bills. We require copies of each monthly bill that is past due.
  • Do I have to have social security cards for all members of my family?
    • Yes, SELF needs verification of these numbers for all US Citizens. If you do not have social security cards for adults, you can use a voter registration card that lists that number and a birth certificate. You may also use a previous year’s tax return form, with the number listed and a birth certificate. For children, if they are school age, the school should have a copy of their social security card.
  • Can I receive assistance if I’m not a US Citizen?
    • Yes, if you have provided all the documents needed to determine eligibility for assistance.
  • What income information is needed?
    • SELF requires income for the last 30 days for ALL adults residing in the home.
  • What do I need to provide that shows I have been impacted by COVID?
    • We will need all available documents to support how you have been impacted by COVID. This can include verification of a positive COVID-19 test, layoffs, job loss, etc.
  • Is there rent assistance available for non COVID-19 related needs?
    • No

For any questions regarding emergency assistance applications, please contact self at or 513-868-9300. Thank you!

Supports to Encourage Low-income Families (SELF) shall prioritize the completed application packets of households with total household income less than 50% area median income and/or households with one or more members that have been unemployed for at least 30 days. Applications are assigned to an Emergency Services Specialist as soon as possible. The Emergency Services Specialist will review their assigned packets and will prioritize those who appear to meet the prioritization criteria. Applicants are given five days to gather and submit any and all missing documents.

Once an application packet is completed, the Specialist will note the priority status and submit the packet to an Approver for final review before submitting to Finance for payment (s) to be issued.

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