After one year, the Rutherford County COVID-19 Rental Relief Program has given out more than $17.6 million in rental and utility assistance to 2,647 households.

The program began in March 2021 to help county residents with the financial hardships created by COVID-19. Low-income renters received assistance with past-due rent and utilities, as well as three months of future rental payments.

The average disbursement is $6,663.

Applicants must meet certain Area Median Income requirements, which varies depending on how many people are in the household. So far, the program has helped 1,220 applicants under 30 percent AMI; 818 applicants between 30-50 percent AMI and 609 applicants between 50-80 percent AMI.

Other community partners also are supporting the program. Last October, nine local agencies received funding and access to computers and scanners to help tenants and landlords with the application process.

Several of the agencies will provide other services as requested, including housing resources, foreclosure prevention, rental documentation, fair housing information and counseling for financial, homeless and credit problems.

The rental relief program will continue until the remaining $7.8 million in funding is disbursed.

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