FAQ about Metro HRA response to COVID-19

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Inspections

Will my annual inspection be completed?
We are suspending all occupied unit inspections until further notice.

I am moving to a new unit. Will someone inspect my unit?
Yes. The Metro HRA will work with your landlord to complete the inspection either virtually, OR in person, if the unit is vacant, turned and recently cleaned.

Ongoing rent assistance / annual recertifications

I am worried that I could lose my rent assistance because of COVID19.

Funds for your rent assistance are not in jeopardy. We will continue to provide you rent assistance payments on the first of each month. We do not anticipate any delays in rent payments.

Will my annual recertification still happen?
We will process your recertification through AssistanceConnect or the mail. Make sure that you provide the documentation requested by your HRA coordinator to ensure your rent portion is calculated accurately and in a timely manner.

I mailed my annual recertification paperwork in. How will I know if you got it?
Reach out to your HRA coordinator. Given the increase in mail to the office and reduced staff working in the office, it may take several days to process mail. We appreciate your patience.

I would like to come to the office to see my coordinator.
The Metro HRA offices are not accepting walk-in or in-person appointments until further notice.

I would like to request an informal hearing.
You may put your request for hearing in writing. Any hearings will be completed virtually or by phone. No in-person appointments will take place until further notice.

Income changes

I was laid off from my job due to the impacts of COVID19. What should I do about my rent?
You should apply for unemployment benefits. You can apply online at uimn.org.

All requests for rent changes due to a job loss will be processed in the order received and in a timely manner. Please be patient as we work through an increased volume of changes. Given the increase in mail to the office and reduced staff working in the office, it may take several days to process mail.

My landlord says they are going to evict me because of nonpayment of rent.
Gov. Tim Walz issued Emergency Executive Order 20-14 that suspends evictions and writs of recovery during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency. This went into effect March 24 and will continue through the declared peacetime emergency. Talk to your landlord about any income changes and let them know we are working on a rent adjustment. We are happy to speak to your landlord on your behalf if that would be helpful. Please contact your HRA coordinator, let them know there is an issue with your landlord, and they will reach out.

Briefings

I am supposed to get my voucher for the first time. When will that happen?
The Metro HRA will continue issuing vouchers. Although we will not have any in-person meetings, we anticipate voucher processing through the mail, virtually online, or by phone. We will contact you through AssistanceConnect or through the mail with details.

What is a virtual meeting, and how can I attend one?
Virtual meetings happen via a computer or phone. Metro HRA will provide you the information and instructions on how to participate in a virtual meeting.

Landlord / tenant issues

I have requested a work order to fix something in my apartment. My landlord says that they are not making repairs unless it is an emergency. Can they do that?
Given the efforts businesses are taking to reduce the spread of the COVID19 virus, your landlord is likely only doing inspections for emergency work orders. If the maintenance issue is an emergency (examples: failed heating system, flooding, refrigerator failure, gas leak, broken/blocked sanitary sewer line), contact your landlord immediately. If they are unresponsive, please contact your Metro HRA coordinator.

Family stability

I am worried about other benefits and services I receive from the county.
Most county offices are currently closed to the public, but staff are still working to address needs. We suggest you reach out to anyone assigned to you or look at their website to find out about service impacts.

I need assistance with food for my children since schools are closed.
Many schools have grab-and-go meal options for students. Reach out to your school for specific details.

I am worried about being able to pay my bills.
The United Way has a COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund. This helps with bills, rent, and food. Call 1-866-211-9966 and provide your zip code for a list of local agencies providing this assistance.