NEPTUNE, NEW JERSEY – For most of the world, 2020 has turned out to be a year to forget. For millions in New Jersey, the consequences are still being felt.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way many businesses interact with their clients as social distancing guidelines became mandatory to prevent the spread of the virus. Only “essential businesses” remained open during the initial months of the pandemic while our elected officials evaluated the best strategy moving forward. Each of us waiting patiently for any COVID-19 update.
Nevertheless, the statewide shutdown forced thousands of businesses to close their doors, which translated into hundreds of thousands of individuals losing their jobs.
At the Affordable Housing Alliance (AHA), their staff has worked uninterruptedly throughout this health crisis to guarantee those financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic receive the assistance they so desperately need.
“Without your programs, I would not be able to keep up with my bills. They have been extremely helpful during some really trying times. I am so grateful for them! Thank you!”
– Casey Z., AHA Beneficiary
The Alliance was able to secure over $1.2 million in additional funds as part of the CARES act to assist COVID-19 impacted families and individuals in Monmouth County. AHA’s Community Action Program (CAP) staff has been essential in allocating these funds, as over $360,000 has already been distributed to folks financially impacted by COVID-19, including $150,000 to help over 100 households with rental arrears, and $65,000 in security deposits and mortgage payments to help over 150 households facing eviction.
AHA also provided financial and housing counseling to these individuals who are now on their path to financial stability.
Furthermore, CAP has distributed over $30,000 for utility payments and another $30,000 for the Transportation Program. CAP also spent $31,930 and $1,554 to provide low-income adolescents with STEAM summer programs and school supplies, respectively.
“I simply cannot thank you enough for providing me with this much-needed assistance. I cannot imagine how busy you must be and I appreciate all the hard work on my behalf. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
– Christine L., AHA Beneficiary
Likewise, AHA’s Utility Assistance staff has been working tirelessly to process the growing number of applications from families in New Jersey that are in need of financial assistance to pay for their gas and electric bills.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, AHA has distributed almost $2 million in utility assistance through the Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric (PAGE) program to working families across the state, so they don’t have to choose between paying for their bills and putting food on the table.
The agency is also determined to preserve the wellbeing of everyone living at one of their properties by providing much-needed relief in the midst of a global pandemic, as many of the individuals the agency is helping were employed in local businesses that had to close their doors as a consequence of the statewide shutdown, thus losing their only way of income in the aftermath.
NeighborWorks America (NWA) awarded the Alliance over $69K in supplemental funding to assist residents who live in AHA properties and have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with “Emergency Rental Assistance,” as well as an additional $50,000 to help local households who are not able to pay their rent or mortgage with “Eviction Prevention” assistance.
“I am back on my feet again and holding my own with the continued help from AHA. It is such a great program and so glad you were there to help me. It made such a difference. I thank you again for everything you did for me and my family!”
– Richard V., AHA Beneficiary
Additionally, AHA added an “extra layer of safety” to its onsite assistance services at their Neptune office in order to guarantee the wellbeing of staff and clients as a team of Central Intake Specialists greet and screen clients when they arrive for their appointments. After the screening process is complete, AHA staff begins to guide clients through the different ways they can benefit from the programs, services, and available resources offered at the Alliance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From emergency rental assistance and utility payments to housing workshops and financial counseling. From permanent housing and temporary shelter to eviction and homelessness prevention, the Alliance is determined to help anyone in New Jersey find the assistance they need in the most expeditious manner possible.
AHA works with a strategic network of supporters and affiliates who have a decades-long footprint in communities across New Jersey which has allowed the agency to reach these struggling families and individuals on a larger scale.
“We wanted to take a moment to thank AHA for the unexpected help from the COVID-19 grant! We can’t tell you how much this helped us and how much we appreciate you being so patient with this whole ordeal. Again, thank you!”
– Aja, Marc & Chance N., AHA Beneficiaries
If you are in need of assistance or you know someone who can benefit from our available resources, please reach out to the Affordable Housing Alliance so you can get the help you need today!
Call the AHA at (732) 389-2958 for more information.