RentHelpMN and Other Available Resources

Many entities received housing and related assistance funds as part of the COVID-19 relief funds.

  • Help with heating costs and furnace repairs are available through the Energy Assistance Program. You can also call 800-657-3710 and press 1.

  • RentHelpMN is an emergency rental assistance program serving Minnesota renters. For information about the differences between RentHelpMN and The Zero Balance Project. Read the comparison below.

  • Some Tribal governments received federal funding to operate their own rental assistance programs. If you are connected to services through a Tribe in Minnesota, contact them directly for more information.

What is the difference between RentHelpMN and The Zero Balance Project?

RentHelpMN and The Zero Balance Project are both emergency rental assistance programs, funded through the same federal grant program.

RentHelpMN is a statewide program where the renter leads the application process.

The Zero Balance Project serves Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey counties where the property owners and managers lead the application process.

RentHelpMN 

  • Statewide 

  • Both tenants and property owners/managers can start applications 

  • Renters provide income and demographic information, past-due rent and/or utility bills and lease agreement and demonstrate impact by COVID.

  • Property owners/managers provide property and payment information and verify amount owed. 

  • Income limits: 80% AMI

  • Maximum assistance: up to 15 months 

  • Eligible expenses include rent, rental fees, utilities and tenant-paid utilities

  • Applications accepted on an open pipeline basis through at least December 2021 

  • Total funding $518 million

  • For more information, call 211

The Zero Balance Project 

  • Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey counties, including Minneapolis and St. Paul

  • Property owners/managers start applications

  • Property owners/managers provide lease, property information, amount owed and payment information.

  • Renters provide income and demographic information, and demonstrate impact by COVID.

  • Income limits: 80% AMI

  • Maximum assistance: up to 15 months

  • Eligible expenses include rent, rental fees and utilities that are included in the lease. Utilities in the renter’s name are not eligible under this program. 

  • Total funding $34 million, with potential to add funds as needed 

  • For more information, email zerobalanceproject@housinglink.org

My renters applied for RentHelpMN. Can we apply for assistance through The Zero Balance Project?

Property owners/managers and renters can only receive assistance from one program for the same months.

If the renter has submitted an application to RentHelpMN, please continue to work with that program. 

I am a property manager/owner who has already registered my properties with RentHelpMN. Do I also need to register and provide information to The Zero Balance Project?

If your renter has not submitted an application to RentHelpMN and you would like to start an application with The Zero Balance Project, you will need to register in The Zero Balance Project and upload the requested documents there.

Documents and information cannot be transferred between programs. Remember that property owners/managers and renters can only receive assistance from one program for the same months of assistance. 

I previously received assistance from RentHelpMN or from Hennepin County’s March 2021 application. Can I request The Zero Balance Project assistance if I still need help?

In all cases you can only receive 15 months of rental assistance total from all programs combined, which will expand to 18 total months soon.

You may decide where you choose to apply for assistance.

I haven’t started an application yet. Which program is best for me, RentHelpMN or The Zero Balance Project?

For those seeking rental assistance in Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey counties who haven’t applied for rental assistance from RentHelpMN, either program is available to you.

For renters and property managers/owners who prefer the renter lead the application process, RentHelpMN may be the better option.

For renters and property managers/owners who prefer the property managers/owners lead the application process, The Zero Balance Project may be the best choice.