Ocean County is launching a program to help both cash-strapped tenants and the landlords who have seen investment properties run dry due to coronavirus struggles.

With at least 3,000 evictions “in the pipeline” of the stalled court system during the pandemic, the Residential Emergency Rental Assistance Program will release a total of $18 million in federal funds received by the county from a U.S. Treasury Department grant, according to Ocean County Board of Commissioners Director Gary Quinn.

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Eligible rental households will have a maximum of $10,644 paid directly to landlords — covering up to six months in back rent, he said.

Applications go live on Wednesday, accessed online from Ocean County's website at www.co.ocean.nj.us.

Landlords can also apply on behalf of their tenants, according to Quinn.

A call center for the program also has launched at 833-753-9671.

So many people in the county, senior citizens and other investors, bought rental properties as a source of income, which has also suffered during the pandemic, Quinn said.

"If this is a total success, we’re going to have to try and go out and find additional funds, because we want to help as many people as possible — and offset the possibility of a lot of these people becoming homeless down the road," he added.

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