The Rental Assistance for Mississippians Program (RAMP) is an $8 million CARES Act program developed by the Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC) to provide assistance on rent and utilities to Mississippian families whose income and housing have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emergency Rental Assistance in Mississippi
The funding of this assistance for impacted families first developed when the U.S. Department of Treasury granted $200 million to the State of Mississippi through the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA). Governor Reeves then equipped the MHC with a large sum of these funds to create RAMP.
Community Assitance and Partnerships
The MHC partnered on this project with several income-assisted housing programs and homelessness outreach organizations in Mississippi to aid and administer assistance for rent and utilities, including the Open Doors Homeless Coalition, Central Mississippi Continuum of Care, and MUTEH.
“Mississippi Home Corporation has worked hard to help those who have been severely impacted by COVID-19,” according to Scott Spivey, the Executive Director of MHC. “This program offers another opportunity to address housing needs that have been created due to this pandemic.”
Other programs and organizations—notably, the National Association of Social Workers, Mississippi Chapter—have been working with the MHC to offer income-impacted Mississippian families the opportunity to rebuild their community and save money while their rent and essential utilities are accommodated.
Eligibility for Assistance
You and your family are eligible to receive assistance on rent and utilities if:
- You or the responsible financial party in your household have been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Your primary source of income equals 80% or less than your area’s median income;
- You are currently homeless or receiving homelessness assistance.
RAMP resources include homeless prevention services, short-term rental assistance, rental arrears, housing stability case management, and certain utilities, including:
- Energy costs;
- Trash disposal;
- Sewer and plumbing.
Eligible renters and landlords of assisted housing and community programs are not permitted to use the aid money for non-essential utility expenses, such as:
- Wi-Fi or internet connection/installation;
- Cellular phone or telephone service/devices;
- Cable television.
Suppose you are eligible and receive approval for up to 12 months from your first application. In that case, you may apply to receive additional aid and assistance on rent and utilities for another three months.
In total, eligible applicants can receive rent and utility accommodation for up to 15 months. The entire sum of the aid you are approved to receive will be paid directly to your landlord and providers of essential utilities in your home—you will not receive the rent funds in the form of a check, cash, or credit deposit for personal use at your discretion.
RAMP Mississippi Application Form
The process of applying for qualifying tenants in need of rental assistance is completed entirely online. To access the RAMP application, your household or your representing landlord will need to visit www.ms-ramp.com.
Renters can receive more information and further assistance on applications by reaching out to the housing agencies in their county. If you do not know which housing agency represents your county, you can find it on the color-coded map on the flyer below and contact one of these corresponding agencies:
- Open Doors Homeless Coalition: +1 (228) 604-2048
- Central Mississippi Continuum of Care: +1 (769) 237-1012
- MUTEH: +1 (601) 960-0557Landlords and Housing Agents: Please download the PDF version of this flyer and post it in your common areas. Leave a copy in your community mailboxes. Make sure your residents have access to this information!
Rent Assistance: Applications and Approval
If you meet the eligibility requirements and have submitted your application, the timing of your approval will depend on your area’s volume of applications and whether or not your circumstances meet priority guidelines.
Applications prioritized for approval and aid comprise households with either:
- at least one tenant who had reached their current unemployment status at a minimum of 90 days before submitting their application;
- an income of 50% or less of the median with prior documentation.
Note that receiving financial aid for rent through RAMP will prevent you from simultaneously acquiring monetary accommodation from other federal sources of housing compensation.