Resident Assistance & RElief Program (R.A.RE)
Resident Assistance & RElief Program
The Department of Human Services administers the Mansfield Resident Assistance & Relief Program (RARE), which was established using federal funds made available through the American Rescue Program Act (ARPA). Applicant households are evaluated individually with health, housing, utilities, mental health and other emergencies as priorities. Criteria for assistance includes: financial hardship (200% of federal poverty income or below), history of assistance, and access to other available private/public financial resources. The financial crisis must have been caused or magnified by the COVID pandemic. In addition, an assessment will be conducted to whether the assistance will help the individual or family become more self-sufficient. Staff members are required to verify as well as document residency, financial information and fully explore all available resources prior to authorizing RARE funding. The Director of Human Services will review each case and determine approval for assistance.
Per the ARPA final rule, eligible uses under this category include but are not limited to the following (as well as covering certain associated administrative expenses born by the Town in the course of administering this assistance):
- Rental arrears
- Utility costs or arrears (can be made through direct payments/bulk payments to utility providers to assist multiple consumers at one time)
- Reasonable accrued late fees (not already included in arrears)
- Mortgage payment assistance
- Counseling to prevent foreclosure or displacement
- Residency: An emergency assistance applicant’s primary residence must be located in the Town of Mansfield. Primary residence means the applicant resides in Mansfield for six or more months during the course of a year. In order to be eligible the applicant must be a resident for at least 3 months prior to applying for assistance. Students residing in UConn campus housing and/or students living off-campus that are dependents or otherwise receive financial support from a family member are not eligible for the program. RARE applicants will be required to provide documentation (i.e., recent utility bills, lease agreements, etc.) to demonstrate residency as requested.
- Income: All household income is calculated to determine eligibility for the RARE program. Resident households must be under 200% of the federal poverty guidelines to be eligible for emergency financial assistance (NHN). Applicants must provide documentation showing all sources of income for all persons domiciled in the household. Sources of income may include but are not limited to: wages; worker’s compensation payments; unemployment compensation; social security payments; pension payments; rental income; alimony payments; child support payments; disability benefits; veteran’s benefits; earnings from investments, and parental support. To document sources of income, applicants will be required to submit federal income tax returns and any other documentation as requested for all persons domiciled in the household.
- Assets: Available assets must not exceed $5,000. This includes, but is not limited to: cash on hand, bank accounts, certificates of deposits, money market certificates as well as stocks and bonds/investments.
- Resources: Applicants must have exhausted all other potential resources before applying for assistance through the town. Proof of this will be required at time of the RARE application for assistance. The assistance may require a cost share agreement with client and/or other resources/agencies.
- Client Plan: Applicants must have a viable plan for meeting the future costs of critical services and cost of living expenses.
- Maximum Amount of Assistance: The household maximum amount of assistance is $1500 for the duration of the funding. Funds are not guaranteed, but based on eligibility criteria, emergency fund balance and level of need.
- Disbursement of RARE funds: Payments will be made directly to the vender. There are no cash payments to applicants and no reimbursements of already paid bills.
- Confidentially: All requests will be handled confidentially. Certain documentation may be subject to disclosure in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. Only documents or information required to be disclosed by state or federal law will be released to the requesting individual, agency or other entity.
- Log: All use of the RARE fund will be documented in the RARE log on the Social Services Drive as well as in client records in the agency database.
200% US Poverty Guidelines for 2022