Online rental counseling

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Renters can receive full budget and credit counseling with a credit review to make any transitions easier, landlord advocate/eviction diversion services, or relocation services if necessary. We have access to Free legal aid for NJ renters.  


Murphy Administration Announces Second Phase of Rental Assistance Program for New Jersey Residents Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic Program Devotes Approximately $353 Million to Help Low- to Moderate-Income Households, Including the Homeles

March 16, 2021 

TRENTON, NJ – Recognizing that New Jersey residents continue to need rental assistance during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Murphy Administration today announced that the application period for a second phase of the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program will open on March 22, 2021. The federally-funded program will provide approximately $353 million in rental assistance to low- and moderate-income households that have had a substantial reduction in income as a result of the pandemic, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for many New Jersey residents, but we are committed to ensuring housing security for as many people as possible during this unpreceded time,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide help with rent for low- and moderate-income households where income has been impacted by the pandemic.” 

“This pandemic has created a crisis for so many of our fellow New Jerseyans who are struggling to pay their rent because they’ve lost jobs or aren’t bringing home as much money as they once did. Governor Murphy and I urge people in this situation to quickly apply to the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program Phase II,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA). “We’ve been in these difficult times for more than a year as a nation and state and we want to help as many people as possible pay their rent, including assisting with overdue rent, to promote housing stability and prevent homelessness.” 

More than 15,000 households benefitted from the first phase of the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program that was launched in July 2020 in response to the pandemic. The Administration was able to help 7,000 more households than originally anticipated with the $91.75 million allocated in the program’s first phase. 

Applicants for the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program Phase II (CVERAP Phase II) may be eligible for up to 12 months of rental assistance to help pay for rent arrears incurred after March 13, 2020, and future rent to the extent that funds are available. Households that already received assistance in Phase I of the program but need additional rent support and have not yet received the maximum 12 months of emergency rental assistance (including CVERAP Phase I) can apply for additional funding. 

Every three months, the applicant’s household income and COVID-19 impact will be reviewed to determine if assistance is still needed and then recertified. If deemed eligible, applicants may only receive a maximum of three months of assistance at each recertification for future rent payments. Assistance that is no longer required will be used to serve additional families. 

The application period will remain open until an adequate number of applications have been received to distribute the approximately $353 million allocated to the program. A notice will be published to inform the public in advance when the application period will close. Participants will be selected from the overall pool of applicants through a randomized process based on eligibility and lottery criteria. 

An applicant may qualify for the assistance based on the following requirements: 

•          Is a New Jersey resident 18 years of age or older; 

•          Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic; 

•          Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and 

•          Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income. Maximum income limits can be found online at

As part of the landlord contract, DCA will encourage landlords to agree to a reasonable payment plan for any rent arrears not covered by the rental assistance and commit to not filing for eviction for non-payment of rent during the term of the assistance. 

Also, property managers or owners of a residential dwelling may apply for assistance on behalf of a tenant. The landlord must: 

•          Obtain the signature of the tenant on the application, which may be documented electronically; and 

•          Must provide documentation of the application to the tenant to notify the tenant that the application has been submitted. 

DCA will provide the centralized application intake, eligibility review, and payment of assistance, which will be made directly to participants’ landlords. DCA has authorized Nan McKay & Associates to help administer the program and to communicate with applicants and landlords. 

CVERAP Phase II applications can be submitted online starting at 9 a.m. on March 22 with the use of a personal computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet at 

DCA will extend reasonable accommodations on a case-by-case basis to disabled individuals and people who have limited English proficiency. The Department will take into consideration the disability and the needs of households without internet access. Applicants seeking accommodations may contact DCA’s Applicant Services at (609) 490-4550 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week during the open enrollment period. 

Submission of a CVERAP Phase II application does not guarantee placement in the program. Only one CVERAP Phase II application per household will be accepted. Duplicate CVERAP Phase II applications will be rejected. 

Additional information about the program can be found online at on the DCA website. 

The program will also help provide households that are very low income and homeless with six months of future rent. Additionally, it will assist in paying for security deposits and case management for homeless households to help them bridge to more sustainable support by the end of the six months of rental assistance. These households will be selected by DCA through the Coordinated Entry process in each county’s Homeless Management Information System. 

For more information about DCA, visit or follow the Department on social media: 

NJ Department of Community Affairs Emergency Rental Assistance
Emergency Rental Assistance Is Available


State / County / City Programs

New Jersey

PROGRAM NAME:New Jersey COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program



Atlantic County

PROGRAM NAME:Atlantic County Emergency Rental Assitance Program



Bergen County

PROGRAM NAME: Bergen County Emergency Rental Assistance Program



Camden County

PROGRAM NAME:Camden County RECOVERS Rental Assistance Program



Essex County

PROGRAM NAME:Essex County Emergency Rental Assistance Program



Gloucester County

PROGRAM NAME:Gloucester County Emergency Rental Assistance



Hudson County

PROGRAM NAME:Hudson County CARES II Eviction Prevention



Jersey City

PROGRAM NAME:Jersey City COVID-19 Rent Relief Program



Mercer County

PROGRAM NAME:Mercer County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)



Middlesex County

PROGRAM NAME:Middlesex County COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program



Monmouth County

PROGRAM NAME:Monmouth County Emergency Rental Assistance Program




PROGRAM NAME:Mayor Baraka’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program



Ocean County

PROGRAM NAME:Ocean County Residential Emergency Rental Assistance Program



Passaic County

PROGRAM NAME:Passaic County Emergency Rental Assistance Program



Union County

PROGRAM NAME:Union County Emergency Rental Relief Program



Rental Assistance


Use Security Deposit to Pay your Rent

Governor Murphy signed Executive Order # 128 which allows renters to direct that their Landlords apply the security deposit the renters own to any past due and current rent obligations as a result of the “Stay at Home” order.  This communications has to be made in writing (including email).  We have recommended language below.  

Yes you CAN direct your landlord to use your Security Deposit to pay your rent

This is NOT free money.  The tenant will be required to replenish or reestablish (pay back) the security deposit if the lease is extended, or 6 months after the emergency order is lifted.   

Further, this order does not relieve the tenant from paying for any money that the landlord would recoup from the rental deposit at the end of the lease for damages beyond the normal “wear and tear”.  

However, it will stop the late fees that the landlord is charging you when you can’t work and are waiting for unemployment.  

Suggested wording of a request to use the security deposit to pay your rent:

Dear Landlord;

NJ governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order # 128 on April 24, 2020 allowing for the following request. I hereby request that the security deposit you are holding on my behalf which is governed by the provisions of N.J.S.A. 46:8-19 et seq., as well as the interest portion of the interest and/or earnings accumulated thereon, be applied to or credited towards rent payments due or to become due from the tenant during the Public Health Emergency established in Executive Order No. 103 (2020) or up to 60 days after the Public Health Emergency terminates.

In other words, the security deposit you are holding for me should be used to pay my past due, current and any future rent until it is exhausted.

I understand that I will be required to pay back the security deposit in full in six months following the end of the Emergency or when I renew the lease.  

Please send me an accounting of the amount of funds in my rental deposit account including accrued interest, and how you are applying it to my rent.

Thank you,

Rental Deposit
Use your rental deposit to pay rent

We do NOT offer rental payment assistance, HOWEVER:

We are working with the National Low Income Housing Coalition to advocate for Rent Assistance.  

We suspect like most tenants that you are already paying $1,500 per month. Then you get laid off, like scores of other workers right now. OK  you’re protected from eviction for the next six months, or as long as this pandemic continues. 

But then what? Will you be forced to pay $9,000 in back rent? (For context, 6 in 10 Americans don’t even have $500 in savings.)

Under almost all the proposals being discussed, tenants will still be responsible for all the rent they cannot pay during the crisis—they’ll have massive rent debt. This will ultimately just delay huge numbers of evictions until a few months after the state of emergency is officially declared to be over .

We are advocating for Rental Assistance for all those affected by the COVID 19 Pandemic


Time for action

All COVID 19 Renters should do the following immediately:

  1. Call your Landlord – Tell them that you will not able to pay
  2. Call all of your Creditors – Each may offer suspension of payment
  3. Call all of your utility Providers – Each may offer suspension of payment

Prepare for Rental Counseling:

  1. Complete Intake Form – download below
  2. Complete Budget Form – Download Below
  3. Complete Third Party Authorization (if necessary)

Prepare for the possibility of having to relocate:

  1. Improve Credit – Follow individualized Credit Action Plan from CCBC (This is a FREE Service for NJ Renters)
  2. Relocation Assistance available.

Prepare for the possibility of having to make up the missed rent

  1. Save funds from Stimulus check
  2. Save funds from Enhanced (+$300) Unemployment Check
  3. Landlord Diversion/Eviction is available

Prepare for the possibility of Getting Rental Assistance

  1. Check for latest updates
  2. Listen to the local news for updates

Consumer Credit and Budget Counseling will:

  1. CCBC will keep you updated on options and assistance available
  2. CCBC will provide FICO credit scores
  3. CCBC will provide a personalized Action Plan advising you of the steps to take to improve your credit
  4. CCBC will analyze your budget
  5. CCBC will assist you with a letter to your landlord
  6. CCBC will provide Landlord Diversion/Eviction (if necessary)
  7. CCBC will provide relocation assistance (if necessary)

Get Help Today – NJ only

There are two way to get prepared and get AHEAD of this pandemic and receive FREE  counseling from Consumer Credit and Budget Counseling:

  1. Use the online intake form below.  It will take you about 20 minutes to complete, the form is SAFE AND ENCRYPTED. 
  2. Download and print the PDF’s forms below,  then email them back to [email protected], or fax to: (844) 811-5458.

Within 72 hours you will receive:

  1. Your Credit Score
  2. A Personalized Action Plan to improve your score
  3. A Budget Analysis comparing your budget guidelines.
  4. You will be put on our COVID 19 update email list to get notified when monetary rental assistance is available. 
  5. Eligible for Landlord/Eviction diversion
  6. Eligible for Relocation Assistance


Complete both forms below for FREE rental counseling including Credit Score Review and Action Plan to improve your credit .  you can also go here for the online application
Fax to (844) 811-5458 or email  us at [email protected] 

Rental Housing Counseling Intake (pdf)

E-mail fill in budget (pdf)

Tenants rights (pdf)


Credit & Budget Counseling

Counselor doing budget and credit counseling

Increase your income and reduce your expenses  and get your credit under control with Budget And Credit Counseling.

Credit Report Review

Review your credit report

Get your credit report in shape prior to finding a new apartment

Eviction Diversion

Having trouble with your landlord? You may need an advocate.

Are you having trouble with your landlord? Are they threatening eviction, ask us for help

Relocation Assistance

Relocation Assistance

Looking for a new place?  We will help you look for a new apartment