TENNESSEE (WATE) — Help is on the way for Tennesseans who need assistance paying their rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency has opened an online portal that allows renters and landlords to apply for up to 12 months of rent through its new COVID-19 rent relief program.

Renters and landlords are also able to apply for utility payments through the program.

THDA reports this program is for renters in 91 of the state’s 95 counties who have experienced economic hardship as a result of the pandemic and earn less than 80% of the area median income.

For example, in Loudon County, a 4-person household making less than $59,100 annually could qualify for this funding, while in Sevier County a 4-person household earning $46,550 or less could qualify.

More details on eligibility are available online at thda.org/covidrentrelief or individuals can call (844) 500-1112.

To start the application process, a landlord or tenant should access the online portal or call the COVID-19 Rent Relief Call Center at (844) 500-1112. Both landlords and tenants will be required to provide verification and documentation as proof of eligibility. Once approved, payments will be made directly to the landlord or utility company on behalf of the tenant. Individuals can monitor the status of their application and payment through the online portal.

Tenants or landlords with properties in these counties will need to contact the local government for further information on local rent relief programs.

Contact information, if available, is listed below.