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Rent Assistance Process

Update: December 2020 Rent Assistance

Community Advocates is proud to administer the Milwaukee County Eviction Prevention Rent Assistance Program through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Eligible applicants with an income of 80% or less the annual median income for Milwaukee County can receive up to a maximum of $5,000 for rental arrears with proof of income loss due to COVID-19, if they are at risk of becoming homeless as a result.

If you have already applied for rent assistance with Community Advocates, you do not need to apply again. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time. 

If you live in the City of Milwaukee, you may also inquire with SDC for Milwaukee Rent Assistance Program eligibility. Click this link for details.

What Is Rent Assistance?

Community Advocates holds government and private contracts to assist individuals and families who facing an eviction with a variety of financial assistance supports that include rent, rent arrears, utility assistance, security deposit, and first month's rent.

The Rental Housing Resource Center launched the Rent Help program April 1, 2020, in response to economic hardship brought on by COVID-19. Since the launch, we have received thousands of calls and emails seeking assistance. 

The Rental Housing Resource Center Team is working hard to respond to calls and emails to provide vital rent payment assistance in these unprecedented times. If you have called, emailed, or submitted an online application through Community Advocates' website, one of our team members will contact you to process your application. We respectfully ask for your patience while our team works to respond to all inquires as quickly as possible. 

We are also pleased to announce that the Rental Housing Resource Center is working in partnership with the Milwaukee County Eviction Prevention Funds to assist Milwaukee County residents in need of rental assistance. If you have submitted a request through the Rent Help hotline, email, or online application portal, you will automatically be assessed for these eviction prevention funds. There is no need to make another call, send another email, or submit a new online application. One of our Rental Housing Resource Center teammates will respond as quickly as possible. 

Please know that making sure you and your family stay safely housed during these challenging times is our top priority. Thank you for your patience and consideration.

Please read the directions on this page before applying for rent assistance so that the process will go smoothly. Thank you!

Who Can Receive Rental Assistance?

Individuals and families facing an eviction as a result of income loss who need one-time financial assistance to prevent the eviction and stabilize housing.

Community Advocates holds public and private contracts to administer rent assistance through the Rental Housing Resource Center to tenants who are facing eviction. In addition, Community Advocates is proud to administer the Milwaukee County Rent Assistance Program through the Rental Housing Resource Center. If you are approved for Milwaukee County Eviction Prevention Rental Assistance, then you are not able to also receive the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program dollars.

If you have already applied for rent assistance through Community Advocates since April 1, 2020, you do not need to apply again for help through the Milwaukee County Rent Assistance Program. 

How Much Can a Household Receive?

The type of assistance provided is dependent on a needs assessment. The average amount of assistance is $800.

Applicants eligible for the Milwaukee County Rent Assistance Program may be eligible for up to $3,000 per cooperative Landlord/Tenant Stipulated Agreement. 

Eligibility Criteria:

You experienced a loss of income in last 60 days (or due to COVID-19) and:

  • You received a 5-day notice for non-payment of rent, or
  • You and your landlord attest to rent amount owed during eviction moratorium

What is involved in the Rent Assistance Application process?

The Rental Assistance application is a three-step process:

1. Pre-Application Completion & Submission: The Rent Assistance Pre-Application can be found and submitted on or requested by emailing An applicant can also request an application by calling the Rent Help Line at 414-270-4646.

The Pre-Application must include the following documentation attached to the application:

  • Identification (photocopy or photo of driver's license or state-issued ID)
  • Photocopy or photo of 5-day eviction notice for non-payment of rent (Note: If this cannot be provided at the time of the application, Community Advocates can submit a waiver to the landlord denoting risk of an impending 5-day notice)
  • Documentation of financial hardship (a copy of your termination notice, lay-off notice, letter-indicating place of employment closing, etc.)

Each application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If the applicant is not eligible for Temporary Rent Assistance through this program, they will be notified of the reason why and referred to a different source.

2. One-Hour Telephone Appointment: Once the application and required documentation are received (applicants can submit it on Community Advocates' website or by emailing a Community Advocates Housing Advocate will notify the applicant of they have received it. They will use the preferred contact method identified on the rent assistance application. If the applicant is eligible for rent assistance based on the preliminary application submitted, the Housing Advocate will schedule a one-hour telephone appointment with the applicant to complete the application within three business days. The remaining paperwork needed to process the application will be emailed to the tenant and landlord at this time.

3. Processing: Once the application is approved and all paperwork is received, a rent payment assistance check will be sent to the landlord.

Additional Notes: