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18 Ways to Get Free Nebraska Rent Assistance

18 Ways to Get Free Nebraska Rent Assistance

If you’re looking for Nebraska rent assistance programs, you’re in the right place! We’ve found many rental assistance programs across the state that may be able to help you pay your housing costs.

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Statewide Nebraska Rent Assistance

There are many programs that offer help across the entire state of Nebraska. Wherever you live, these programs may be able to help you. For more assistance, be sure to check our nationwide and local lists below.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA)

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is Nebraska’s official COVID-19 rent relief program. This program helps low income people throughout Nebraska pay rent and utilities when they’ve been financially impacted by the pandemic.

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This program provides up to $20,000 per household for rent and utilities. These funds can pay your rent for up to 15 months!

In order to be eligible, you must meet ALL of the following requirements:

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  • You must be a Nebraska resident who does not reside in Douglas or Lancaster Counties (these areas have their own programs; see below).
  • You must be a renter with a current lease or agreement.
  • Your household must meet income guidelines (80% or less of Area Median Income by county)
  • You must be a US citizen or legal alien.
  • Your landlord must not be an immediate family member.

In addition to the above requirements, you must also meet ONE of the following requirements:

  • You must be unable to pay all or part of your monthly rent due to a financial hardship related either directly or indirectly to the COVID-19 pandemic. This could include unemployment, a reduction in income, or new significant costs.
  • You must show a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, such as with a past-due notice, proof of past-due rent, or an eviction notice.

You can apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program online.

Community Action Agencies

Community Action Agencies are powerful resources for low income people. There are nine agencies in Nebraska and the services offered by each agency may vary.

County Veterans Assistance

It appears that each county in Nebraska has a County Veterans Services office that can help veterans navigate benefits and other resources. It appears that these agencies can assist with utilities, rent payments, funeral costs, burial expenses, food and more.

General Assistance

Did you know that Nebraska law requires every county to offer General Assistance to those who need help? Chapter 68 of the Nebraska Statutes requires counties to provide for the poor who are not eligible for other assistance and who are not dependent on a parent, stepparent or spouse for their support.

These programs can typically assist with rent, mortgage payments, utilities, clothing, burial or cremation costs, and other expenses. The Douglas County website even states that they offer Dollar General gift cards to purchase non-food necessities.

This is supposed to be a program of last resort, only used after you’ve tried everything else. Some counties may require non-disabled people who participate in this program to seek employment.

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Proteus Inc.

Proteus Inc. is dedicated to helping farm and migrant workers throughout Nebraska. This agency can assist with food, housing education, health, and other resources. They offer $75 toward rent for eligible farmworkers who attend their home ownership education classes. Additional assistance may also be available.

Section 8 Housing Vouchers

Although this program does not provide help in emergency situations, it may be able to help you pay your rent on an ongoing basis. However, you will need to apply before you need the help because it can take a while to get these benefits. For more information on Section 8, click here.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families

SSVF is a VA program that helps veterans with housing costs. The program includes case management, temporary financial assistance and more. There are many SSVF partners in Nebraska, including the Community Action Councils and some health care providers.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army often offers assistance with rent, clothing, household items, emergency shelter and more. If you need help with rent, it’s always wise to reach out to The Salvation Army for assistance and referrals.

Nationwide Rent Assistance

We’ve found even more help with rent on a nationwide level. You won’t want to miss out on these incredible grant programs! Check our nationwide list here.

Local Nebraska Rent Assistance

Some of the most helpful programs we’ve found operate at a local level. These programs only help with rent in certain cities, counties, zip codes or other geographic boundaries. For exact details, you’ll need to contact the agency directly.

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To keep this list as concise as possible, we have NOT included county information for programs that exist throughout the state. For example, we have not listed every General Assistance office or County Veteran Services office in the state. Details on those programs are listed under Statewide Nebraska Rent Assistance, above. For additional details, you’ll have to reach out to your county offices.

Buffalo County

Kearney Jubilee Center Thrift Store & Food Pantry

This center is able to provide financial assistance with those who are facing homelessness, utility disconnection or who need medications. They also have a food table, community dinner program and more!

Decatur County

Lamoni Food Pantry

The Lamoni Food Pantry may be able to assist with rent and utility payments when funds are available. However, this service is not always available and their primary focus is on providing food.

Douglas County

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (Countywide, except Omaha)

Douglas County operates its own pandemic emergency assistance program for Douglas County residents who do not live in Omaha. For details on this, you’ll need to visit the COPE website.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (Omaha)

The emergency rental assistance program for Omaha is administered by MACCH. You will need to visit their website for details.

Christian Outreach Program – Elkhorn

COPE serves residents in Bennington, Elkhorn, and DC West School Districts with Nebraska rent assistance programs, utility payments, holiday food baskets, school supplies, Christmas programs, home furnishings, clothing, diapers, personal care items, food and other community programs. This is a great resource for low income families in the area!

Family Housing Advisory Services Inc.

This organization offers tenant services, including housing search assistance, guidance through the eviction process and more. It appears that they may offer some form of Nebraska rent assistance program but the information was not immediately clear.

Heartland Family Service (Omaha)

This agency serves residents in Douglas, Pottawattamie and Sarpy Counties with homeless prevention services. These housing support services may be able to provide you with some Nebraska rent assistance, as well as other critical services.

Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless

MACCH provides assistance to those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. They have also helped coordinate the county’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. For more information on MACCH and their services, visit their website.

Together Omaha

Together Omaha serves Omaha and the surrounding area with critical support services. This organization offers many programs, including a Crisis Engagement Program that can provide financial assistance with rent and utilities. They also have a food pantry, diaper bank and more!

Lancaster County

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Lancaster County operates its own pandemic emergency assistance program. For details on this, you will need to visit the government website for Lincoln, Nebraska.

Platte County

Columbus Emergency Relief

Columbus Emergency Relief may be able to help with housing, utilities and medical expenses. I was not able to locate this organization online but I did see it referenced in numerous directories. Their phone number is allegedly (402) 564-4184.

Sarpy County

City of Bellevue Human Services Department (Bellevue)

If you are a Bellevue resident, you may be able to receive assistance from the City of Bellevue Human Services Department. These funds can be used for Bellevue Nebraska rent assistance and utilities. The city can also assist with food, holiday gifts for families with children under 12 years of age, transportation for seniors and more! There is also a special fund to help with medications.

Heartland Family Service (Papillion)

This agency serves residents in Douglas, Pottawattamie and Sarpy Counties with homeless prevention services. These housing support services may be able to provide you with some Nebraska rent assistance, as well as other critical services.

Scotts Bluff County

Christ the King Catholic Church (Gering)

It appears that Christ the King Catholic Church may offer some assistance with food, motel vouchers, prescriptions and housing deposits. The maximum relief appears to be $150 and it depends on available funding. This information was not found on their website, but in a resource directory.

York County

York County Health Coalition

This agency manages a Community Response program that helps youth and families connect with supportive services. Navigators can help fill gaps with flexible funding that can be used for rent, utilities, transportation and more.

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