April Heading Home Hennepin Newsletter: Covid-19 Rental Assistance update

HHH logo


April 2021

Heading Home Hennepin Monthly Newsletter

The Heading Home Hennepin monthly newsletter aims to be a resource for the community of individuals that work to increase housing stability for residents of Hennepin County.


This month in the HHH Newsletter:


  • Update on Covid-19 Rental Assistance 
  • Where to refer people who need rent help

Continuum of Care updates:

  • A tool that prioritizes people for homeless services favored white people. So Hennepin Co. stopped using it
  • Employment and Income committee presents a community of practice
  • Project CHALENG invites you to take their 2021 survey on veterans homelessness

Funding, Feedback, and Training Opportunities

  • Hennepin County seeks feedback on the housing and development draft annual action plan

  • Minnesota Housing Announces Funding Availability

  • Request for proposal:  Services to address Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence 

  • Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) to Offer Enrollment Training for Housing Stabilization Services

  • Eviction Expungement Overview

Covid-19 Rental assistance

check icon

Update on Covid-19 rental assistance

Hennepin County is in the final stages of dispensing about $15 million in Federal Emergency Rent Assistance funding it received in January 2021 for direct rent relief for tenants. An additional $10 million will be dispensed through a landlord program. Another allocation directly to Hennepin County of about $21 million in rent assistance from the American Rescue Plan is expected in the next few months.

The average amount paid has been $4,000, but some people have been eligible for as much as $20,000. Hennepin County rolled out a two week March rental assistance "sprint" leading up to the statewide system launch. That two-week round closed March 19, resulting in 3,739 applications.

For the next round of rental assistance, Hennepin County will join a new statewide platform for people applying. County staff will continue to determine eligibility and process payments.


Cell Phone icon

Where to refer people who need rent help

If you need help navigating options, call 612-348-6442 to speak to a Hennepin County representative. 

The Tenant Resource Center, 612-767-9737, is an option for clients when their situation is complex – for example, needing legal advice or help negotiating with a landlord.

The statewide COVID-19 rent assistance program website, renthelpmn.org, is now taking applications. 

The rent assistance program is prioritized for people who:

  • Have an annual household income less than 50% of the area median income (AMI) and who have had a decrease in income or increase in expenses due to COVID-19, or
  • Have an income between 50% and 80% of AMI and had someone in the household receiving unemployment for 90 days or more.
calendar icon

Continuum of Care updates


MPR News logo

A tool that prioritizes people for homeless services favored white people. So Hennepin Co. stopped using it

Hennepin County homeless service providers have found a relatively simple fix to reduce racial inequities in who receives housing. It has to do with an intake questionnaire that's been found to favor white people for permanent housing and to funnel people of color into less intensive options.

Hennepin County changed that process last year — and is already seeing results.

Read and Listen to the story here.


HHH web logo

Employment and Income Committee to host Community of Practice Event

Event Title: ADA and Employing People with Disabilities

Date/Time: Tuesday April 20th, 1-3pm

Who should attend: Employment service providers, housing providers, employers, and any person with an interest in learning more about ADA law


  • Obtain a general understanding of the 5 titles of the ADA
  • Understand the Rights & Responsibilities of both employers and employees regarding Title I of the ADA
  • Learn about interviewing, disclosure, and reasonable accommodations as it impacts people with disabilities and their employers
  • Hear about real life examples and have an opportunity for Q&A time to get at those critical questions that you have

Presenter Information: Cindy Held Tarshish, has been the Manager of ADA Minnesota since March 2002. Ms. Tarshish has 30 years of work related experience in the disability community and is a certified ADA Coordinator and licensed Accessibility Specialist.

Download meeting invite: Employment and Income Committee Meeting Invite

See event flyer here

For assistance with accommodation needs, please contact Nicole Hilgendorf: nmhilgendorf@gesmn.org.


Project CHALENG invites you to take their 2021 survey on veterans homelessness

Background on Project CHALENG

Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups) unites homeless service providers, advocates, Veterans and concerned citizens toward the goal of meeting the evolving needs of Veterans who are homeless.

Since 1994, CHALENG has built thousands of partnerships—involving community and Veterans’ groups, law enforcement agencies and federal, state and local government—that are improving services for homeless Veterans.

Take the 2021 Survey on Veteran homelessness

chaleng survey

CHALENG surveys assess local challenges faced by homeless Veterans, identify unmet needs and encourage partnership action to meet those needs.

Data from CHALENG has assisted VA in developing new services for Veterans, including the Homeless Veteran Dental Program, the expansion of the Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing program, the Veterans Justice Outreach programs and the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. Community organizations also use CHALENG data in applications for grants that assemble VA, other government and foundation dollars to address the local needs of Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Click the image to take the 2021 CHALENG Survey.

funding icon

Funding, feedback, and training opportunities


housing icon

Hennepin County seeks feedback on the housing and development draft annual action plan

The 2021 housing and development draft annual action plan shows how Hennepin County and cities plan to use approximately $5.2 million in federal funding from HUD over the coming year. Provide feedback by Friday, April 30: hennepin.us/housing-plans


mn housing

Minnesota Housing Announces Funding Availability

Minnesota Housing and its partners are have announced the 2021 Consolidated Request for Proposals (RFP) is now open for applications. Read more: Minnesota Housing Announces Funding Availability Announcement


Hennepin logo

Request for proposal:  Services to address Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence 

Hennepin County is soliciting proposals for services to address Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence.

The purpose of the services is to reduce domestic abuse and/or sexual violence within the community by improving the social, emotional, and psychological health of the participants. Services may assist participants to obtain assistance during a crisis and reduce the barriers and stigma associated with obtaining mental health assessments and counseling. There will be a strong emphasis on providing culturally competent services to communities of color and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) households. 

Go to the Supplier Portal to review and respond to this event. You must be registered before submitting a response.

For registration and submission how-tos and training videos, please visit the Supplier Portal help page.


Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) to Offer Enrollment Training for Housing Stabilization Services

MHCP will offer provider enrollment training for providers not currently enrolled with MHCP and who are considering enrollment to provide Housing Stabilization Services in their communities. The event is scheduled to take place via webinar on Friday, April 30, 2021  from 9:00 to noon.

Attendees may register for the webinar here:https://minnesota.webex.com/minnesota/onstage/g.php?MTID=ea895f980ed36fdc03c5525cda23f4fe3

This event is specifically for new provider enrollment. Attendees must complete the MPSE portal registration process prior to the training.

You may contact the MHCP Provider Call Center at 651-431-2700 or 800-366-5411


VLN Logo

Eviction Expungement Overview

When: 12:00PM – 1:00PM, Thursday, April 22, 2021 
Online event


Do you have questions about eviction expungement? Do you have an old eviction on your record that is making it hard for to find rental housing today? Come hear Muria Kruger, the Housing Program Manager from Volunteer Lawyers Network, talk about what eviction expungement is, what evictions qualify for expungement, how to request an expungement and legal resource available for low-income Minnesotans to get help with an expungement. There will also be time for your questions at the end.

It will be a virtual event on Zoom. 

Click here to Join.

Visit website for more information.

Contact us

Heading Home Hennepin




Follow us

facebooktwitterinstagramlinked inyoutube
Hennepin County