Thursday, September 16, 2021


Hundreds of wealthy Americans back the Biden Build Back Better Act; Roger Stone is served with a warrant on live radio; and family caregivers are in need of assistance.


Virginia gubernatorial candidates debate; former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann indicted for lying to FBI; lawmakers set to question oil industry over climate disinformation; and FDA scientists express skepticism over booster shots.


Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Application Counselors to the Rescue - Rental Aid at Stake


Monday, July 19, 2021   

FARGO, N.D. -- North Dakota is reaching out to those who have fallen behind on their rent due to the pandemic and may not know there's help.

Application counselors are seen as a bridge in getting funds to those who need it. Most of the $352 million the state received this year in federal emergency rental aid is still unclaimed.

The nation's eviction moratorium expires July 31, creating concerns about a wave of people being forced from their homes.

Carmel Froemke, statewide outreach coordinator for the Community Action Partnership of North Dakota (CAP-ND), said her staff is getting new training to handle urgent cases, and those who still might see their situation worsen.

"We know that the effects of COVID aren't just going to go away. There's long-term effects of that," Froemke explained. "And so, we're hoping to be able to provide a more sustainable assistance over the course of time."

CAP-ND is contracted with the state through next February to carry out application assistance, with 30 counselors to provide one-on-one help from agency offices, to those unsure about navigating the online portal.

They can help vulnerable populations who don't have access or experience with technology. State officials say eligibility has been expanded to ensure program recipients have a less-rocky recovery from their hardship.

Eligibility was boosted to 80% of area median income, and a person can now receive rental aid for up to 12 months.

Andrea Olson, executive director of the Community Action Partnership of North Dakota, said it suggests part of the issue in reaching households is people who have never relied on aid programs before may now need it, but do not know they exist.

"They make just enough to survive," Olson explained. "But when there's something that happens like a global pandemic, they don't have sufficient savings to carry them through."

Froemke added once people get through the initial application stage, there is a lot of information to submit, including details from the landlord.

"Once the rent is approved, the landlord will be paid directly through a vendor service process," Froemke confirmed.

She added that is why counselors will follow up with applicants, so aid is not pulled back over a key detail. They can also assist if a recipient is renewed for more funds.

Nationwide, Census Pulse Survey data show more than 6 million households are behind on rent. It is estimated the updated North Dakota program could serve up to 25,000 households.

Disclosure: Community Action Partnership of North Dakota contributes to our fund for reporting on Community Issues and Volunteering, Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Oregon's Hispanic population grew 30% from 2010 to 2020. (Gstudio/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hispanic Heritage Month began this week, and will be celebrated through Oct. 15. Oregon has a rapidly growing Hispanic population…

Social Issues

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- As the Biden administration challenges a Texas law restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood for …

Social Issues

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Social Security, the program credited with lifting 15 million older residents in Wyoming and across the U.S. out of poverty…

Dulce Ortiz of Clean Power Lake County was among those who spoke at the signing of landmark clean-energy legislation in Illinois. (Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker)


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The historic clean-energy bill signed into Illinois law yesterday includes measures from closing coal and natural gas plants by 2…

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- A new coalition is forming to push back against predatory lending and urge state lawmakers to take action to protect consumers…

A letter from high earners to Congress supports President Biden's plan to tax capital gains income as ordinary income for individuals making more than $1 million a year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than 200 high earners have written a letter urging Congress to raise taxes to help support social safety-net programs that …

Health and Wellness

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Limiting women's access to abortion and other reproductive health care can have a devastating impact on state economies. According …


BOISE, Idaho -- Closed fisheries from imperiled fish runs in the Columbia River Basin are prompting calls for action before it's too late. Steelhead …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021