Housing Help RI

Housing Help RI is a statewide homelessness prevention initiative to assist Rhode Islanders who are experiencing housing insecurity. The program provides emergency housing assistance to very low-income renters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and are at immediate risk of homelessness.

Household Eligibility

Households must meet federal eligibility criteria in order to qualify for assistance through Housing Help RI. To qualify, households must be income-eligible Rhode Island residents that (1) have experienced a loss of income due of the COVID-19 emergency, (2) lack the resources to avoid homelessness, and (3) meet one of the following conditions:

  • Is doubled up with another family because of economic hardship;
  • Has been notified that their right to occupy their current housing or living situation will be terminated within twenty-one days after the date of application;
  • Has moved because of economic reasons two or more times during the sixty days immediately preceding the application;
  • Is exiting a publicly funded institution or system of care;
  • Lives in a hotel or motel, the cost of which is not paid for by charitable organizations or by federal, state, or local government programs for low-income individuals;
  • Lives in an SRO (Single Room Occupancy) or efficiency apartment unit with at least one other person, or a larger housing unit in which there are more than one and a half persons per bedrooom; or
  • Otherwise lives in housing that has characteristics associated with instability and an increased risk of homelessness.

See Income Eligibility Chart here. 

A household must demonstrate the financial capacity to sustain housing following the award of program funds. Only one adult individual residing in a household may apply for assistance on behalf of the household.


Eligible Uses

Households may receive a grant of up to $5,000 to use for any combination of the following eligible housing expenditures:

  • Past due rent payments;
  • Late fees on a rental account; or
  • Moving costs associated with relocation.

Due to federal restrictions, funding may not be used for future rent payments at this time. Payment will be made directly to third-party entities such as a landlord, property manager, or moving company.

How to Apply:

Interested residents should fill out the online screening tool below to confirm their eligibility and start the application process. 

Housing Help RI Screening Form

Once program funds have been exhausted, eligible applicants will be added to a wait list and notified if additional funds becomes available.

Note: Due to exceptionally high demand at this time, it may take longer than expected to process the applications.