The Zero Balance Project: Rental Assistance in Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, and Minneapolis and St Paul

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The counties of Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey, and the cities of Minneapolis and St Paul are offering emergency rental assistance through a program called The Zero Balance Project.

The Zero Balance Project is closed to new applications, but help is still available to renters that have already received assistance!

Not sure which county you live in? Look up your county with your address here.

All Other Renters can visit RentHelpMN for emergency rental assistance. 

Through May 30, 2022, renters with unpaid rent are protected from eviction from late rent if they apply for rent help and tell their landlord.

Common Questions about The Zero Balance Project

Q. I previously received assistance from The Zero Balance Project that was paid directly to my landlord. Can I get more help?
You can only receive 15 months of rental assistance total from emergency rent assistance programs combined, which will expand to 18 total months soon. If you received assistance from Zero Balance Project, you should request any additional assistance from Zero Balance Project. You will get an email asking if you need more help. Log in to your account to request more help.

Q. Who can I talk to with questions about The Zero Balance Project or my Zero Balance Project application?
Questions regarding The Zero Balance Project should be directed to zerobalanceproject@housinglink.org. The Zero Balance Project is operated by the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul as well as Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey counties. It is a separate program from RentHelpMN. For more information about RentHelpMN, call 211.

What is the maximum amount I can apply for in each unit?
There is no limit.

Do my renters still have to live in the unit?
Yes. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis, if requested by the renter.

How do I apply for the 3 months of the prospective (future) rent?
The renters do this
. In the renter part of the application there is a check-box where they can apply for prospective (future) rent if they know they will be unable to pay those future months. 

My renters are worried this will impact other assistance/benefits they receive. Will it?
No. This does not count as income. The payment goes directly to the landlord.

My renters are undocumented and are afraid to submit their information. What should I tell them?
Household names are NOT reported to ICE. Dakota, Hennepin, and Ramsey County will get access to the data, and so will the cities of Minneapolis and St Paul.

My renters will not complete their part of the application. Can I still apply?
No. Renters must also complete their part of the application.

How do I check the status of the application?

  • Log into your Neighborly Account
  • In the left column, click on "Tenant"
  • "Application in Progress" means not all of the information has been submitted (by the landlord or the renter).

If my application is approved, when will I receive payment?
A check will be mailed to the address provided by the landlord within 14 days of approval. 

How are applications prioritized?
Applications are reviewed and paid on a first come, first served basis.

Only landlords can start an application for emergency rental assistance through the Zero Balance Project.  

Renters re-apply here 

Track the Program's Progress

Zero Balance Dashboard 

Get program updates

Sign up for notifications

Common Questions

See the FAQ

RentHelpMN and Other Resources

Learn more

Spreadsheet to Upload Renters in Bulk

Are you applying on behalf of 10+ renters? Use this spreadsheet to upload in bulk

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Program Guide

View the Program Guide