Details On The Emergency Rental Assistance Program
The new Emergency Rental Assistance Program leverages new federal funding for eligible low-income tenants who are in need of financial assistance. With the launch of the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program, applicants should not notice significant changes in the application process, and may be eligible to receive funds from either ERAP or RAFT.How does the new Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program differ from RAFT?ERAP has key differences in program requirements:
- COVID-19 Impact: Households must provide a statement attesting to unemployment, decreased wages, or increased expenses due to COVID-19. COVID-19 impact can be indirect, and include cases where a household was either directly impacted by COVID-19 OR has been affected by related issues since March 2020. This could include losing a job, having hours reduced, losing access to childcare or dependent care, seeing increased expenses, or something else. Documentation is not required.
- Higher Benefit and Longer-term relief: Households may be eligible for up to eighteen months of rental arrears and/or future rent, as well as overdue utilities arrears up to $2,500. Applicants who do not receive federal housing subsidies may be eligible for future rent stipends. All rent and utility arrears must have been accrued after 3/13/20.
- Under RAFT, renters and landlords may receive up to $10,000 until January 1, 2022, when the RAFT maximum benefit limit will decrease to $7,000 per household
Emergency Rental Assistance Frequently Asked Questions
Section 501, Division N, of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, enacted December 27, 2020, allows States and political subdivisions, U.S. territories, Indian Tribes, and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to use certain funds allocated by the Department of the Treasury to provide financial assistance to households to pay rent, utilities, home energy expenses, and other related expenses. Section 3201 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, enacted March 11, 2021, appropriates additional funds for States, political subdivisions, and U.S. territories to provide financial assistance to households to pay rent, utilities, home energy expenses, and other related expenses. Payments under either provision are referred to as Emergency Rental Assistance in the following questions and answers.
Q1. I am a renter who received Emergency Rental Assistance payments from a Distributing Entity for use in paying my rent. Are these payments includible in my gross income?
A1. No. Emergency Rental Assistance payments made to eligible households are not considered income to members of the household.
Q2. I am a renter who received Emergency Rental Assistance payments from a Distributing Entity for use in paying my utilities or home energy expenses. Are these payments includible in my gross income?
A3. No. Emergency Rental Assistance payments made on behalf of an eligible household are not considered income to members of the household.
How Are You Determining Who Gets Rent Relief First
While we know rent relief is an urgent issue for all applicants, to ensure that those most in need receive assistance, the state will first review and commit funds to applicants who are income-eligible and who are at the greatest risk of eviction. It is critical that applicants act as quickly as possible to complete their application and reply to any requested action or response. This will ensure an application can be processed as quickly as possible.
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Determine Opportunities To Fit Housing Stability Services Into Programming
- Determining how to add additional housing stability services into existing rental assistance infrastructure can be challenging. Are there partners or opportunities that can make integration of these services feasible?
- With limited ERA funds available to many grantees, coordination with other housing programs to identify strategies can help ERA programs reach the most vulnerable households that could uniquely benefit from ERA programs. These strategies can also serve as an opportunity to create a soft landing for the most vulnerable renters in the community.
Era Grantee Coordination With Homeowners Assistance Fund
ERA grantees may also consider coordinating with HAF administrators. The purpose of the Homeowner Assistance Fund is to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020. Funds from the HAF may be used for assistance with mortgage payments, homeowners insurance, utility payments, and other specified purposes. The law prioritizes funds for homeowners who have experienced the greatest hardships, leveraging local and national income indicators to maximize the impact. Incorporating coordination with HAF program administrators would further serve to improve messaging, operational implementation, and overall program effectiveness of providing a range of utility assistance programs locally.
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Stimulus Update: $15 Billion For Emergency Rental Assistance Is Available Heres How To Apply
Federal funds earmarked for emergency rental assistance have been disbursed at a rapid clip in recent months, with about $30 billion of the $46.6 billion program being sent out in February alone. That leaves roughly $15 billion still available.
If you want to apply for the assistance which was included in stimulus packages passed by Congress in December 2020 and March 2021 you might want to get a move on. Last month the U.S. Treasury Department said the funds will likely be exhausted by mid-2022.
The money is available to financially strapped renters who owe back rent and face the threat of eviction. To be eligible, at least one member of your household must qualify for unemployment benefits or attest in writing that theyve lost income or incurred significant expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CNBC reported. You must also demonstrate that you are at risk of homelessness, which might include a past-due rent or utility notice.
In most cases, your income cant exceed 80% of your areas median income to be eligible for emergency rental assistance. However, some states have been directed to prioritize applicants who fall at 50% or lower, along with those whove been out of work for 90 days or longer.
Although the emergency rental assistance program is administered by the federal government, funds are disbursed at the state and local level.
Virginia Rent Relief Portal To Close To New Applications On May 15
The Virginia Rent Relief Program closed its application portal to new or renewing applications at 11:59 p.m., May 15, 2022.
Emergency Rental Assistance requires a prioritization of assistance for households with incomes less than 50 percent of area median income or households with one or more individuals that have not been employed for the 90-day period preceding the date of application. Any application submitted after April 21, 2022 will be prioritized based on these criteria, then processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
DHCD will continue to work with partners and stakeholders across the state to create comprehensive strategies to increase the supply of affordable housing, address and prevent evictions and reduce barriers in housing throughout the Commonwealth.
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Important 1099 Notice For Landlords
The New York State Housing Trust Fund Corp recently mailed out IRS 1099 forms to landlords who participated in the COVID Rent Relief Program . If you have questions regarding your 1099, please call 480-5024.
Please note that the former hotline for COVIDRRP is no longer in service. DO NOT CALL 833-499-0318 with questions regarding COVIDRRP. The entity using that phone number now is no way affiliated with HTFC, COVIDRRP or the State of New York. We strongly encourage you to avoid providing any Personal Identification Information over the phone, and our staff will not ask you to do so when calling.
Cities And Counties Also Offer Help
Even in states without statewide assistance, many cities and counties have programs of their own. Check local and state government websites for information about coronavirus-related eviction moratoriums, rent forbearance, or rent assistance. For example, California’s moratorium will expire on September 30, 2021. New York City residents have until Jan. 15, 2022, before its eviction moratorium ends.
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Am I Eligible For Assistance
In a nutshell, if your income has taken a hit from the pandemic to the point where you can no longer afford rent or youre facing homelessness, then its likely that you will qualify for assistance.
The U.S. Department of Treasury eligibility guidelines state that you can get assistance if you:
- Qualify for unemployment or your income has been reduced
- Can prove that youre at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability
- Have a household income at or below 80% of the area median
In most cases, you can self-assess your eligibility by simply submitting a declaration stating that the pandemic impacted your financial situation. Renters can use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declaration form on their website to submit with their application.
City Of Atlanta Georgia
Particularly during the height of the pandemic, remote learning for school-age children created significant stress on renters who often had to forego income to care for children who would have otherwise been at school during the day. In many cases, low-income households also did not have internet services or the necessary technology to help their children successfully navigate remote learning. The city of Atlanta worked with counselors integrated into the school system to identify low-income renter households where children were not attending their classes through remote platforms. Braiding ERA with other funding, local officials were able to offer these households funds for internet services and computer equipment for their children to access the remote classroom, in addition to providing financial support for rent and utilities.
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How Much Will Each State Get
The $25 billion will not be divided evenly over U.S. states and territories. Each state will get an allocation by population, with a $200 million minimum allocation. U.S. territories will share $400 million. Cities of 200,000 or more can request to receive their allocation from the federal government directly, rather than waiting for their state to distribute it to them . To find out how much your state will be eligible for, you can check this graphic from .
As rental assistance funds begin to be distributed throughout the country, we will cover updates on the Skip blog and on our app, which you can download on the App Store and on Google Play .
Illinois Rental Payment Program
UPDATE: The Illinois Rental Payment Program provides financial assistance for rent to income-eligible Illinois renters and their landlords who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are a renter in Illinois and are behind on rent due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for up to $25,000 and 18 months of emergency rental payments.
The program is closed, however, you can check the status of your application submission or return to your application already in-progress. Landlords whose tenants have applied can to access an in-process application.
For other questions about ILRPP, you may reach the call center at 866-454-3571 or via email at . The ILRPP Call Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rental Assistance is Still Available Through IDHS
If you missed the window to apply for assistance through IHDA, the Illinois Department of Human Services is currently accepting applications for rental assistance. If you are looking for assistance, please contact an IDHS Service Provider Agency in your area. To find out if youre eligible, ask about rental assistance, and get help with applying. Find a IDHS Service Provider at .
Important ILRPP Links
- You may find the ILRPP Income Attestation Form here.
- For answers to Frequently Asked Questions, please visit
For more information and frequently asked questions, please visit www.IllinoisHousingHelp.org
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Rental Housing Covered By The Eviction Moratorium
The temporary moratorium on eviction filings pertained to any rental housing that was one of the following:
- Covered under section 41411 of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994
- Covered by the rural housing voucher program under section 542 of the Housing Act of 1949
- Had a federally backed mortgage or multifamily mortgage loan, like an FHA home loan
How To Apply For Ontario Works
Follow the steps below to apply for Ontario Works online. It takes 20 to 30 minutes.
Only submit one application for you and your family that lives with you.
Before you start
Make sure all family members included in your application are with you when you fill out the form so they can provide their consent and confirm their information.
Have your familys identification and tax documents ready, such as:
- social insurance numbers
Step 1: fill in your personal information
You will be asked to fill out your familys:
- full names, dates of birth and status in Canada
- email addresses
- total monthly income and assets
- other expenses, such as child care
- bank account information to get your payment quickly through direct bank deposit
Step 2: Ontario Works reviews your application
A caseworker from your local Ontario Works office will call you within four business days of submitting your application to schedule an appointment. This does not include weekends and holidays.
Step 3: meet with Ontario Works
Meet with a caseworker for your verification appointment.
The caseworker might ask you to provide more information, like copies of bills or other documents, so we can verify the information you included in your application.
You will be also be asked to sign your application package, including a consent form to allow Ontario Works to access information about you from other government programs or organizations . This information will help to determine if you qualify for assistance.
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I’m Having Problems Getting Assistance Why
If you’re unable to meet a documentation requirement for one program’s application or are denied from a certain fund, look for other rental assistance resources in your area, experts say.
It may also be worth reaching out to the organization and explaining why you can’t come up with a certain form. The most recent guidance from the Treasury Department encourages programs to take people at their word.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if a case worker could work with the tenant,” Aurand said.
Yet another issue is that some landlords are refusing to accept the money from the programs because they don’t want to agree to its terms, which can include a ban on evicting that tenant or raising their rent for a window of time.
Running into that problem?
Experts recommend that you ask the program if you can receive the funds directly. Some programs are now required to offer that option if they can’t get your landlord’s cooperation, Aurand said.
City Of Columbus & Franklin County Ohio
Columbus has contracted with over 30 agencies to provide application assistance and wrap-around services for tenants. The combination of agencies covers a variety of vulnerable populations, including refugees, seniors, youth, and those experiencing homelessness. In addition, theyve also partnered with legal and mediation services to help tenants develop payment plans or moveout plans with landlords, as well as have staff directly in the courts to check real time application data and facilitate continuations.
Franklin County has administered its ERA funds through two primary partner agencies, the Department of Job and Family Services, and a local community action agency. Both agencies have a long history of partnership with the county, in addition to having historically dispersed rental assistance to those in need. In addition, they are working with the city of Columbus, to access services through legal aid and mediation to prevent eviction. The Department of Job and Family Services primarily serves households with children and is able to braid funding resources to offer additional rent and utility assistance if necessary. The Department also contracts with several community partners to offer services ranging from behavioral health, workforce, and food insecurity in order to refer and secure additional wrap-around resources for families.
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Renters Should Know Their Rights
The last year has been incredibly difficult for millions of people, including renters and landlords who depend on rent to pay their own bills. The financial pressure has been multiplied by illegal evictions and some courts not recognizing the CDC eviction moratorium, which has led to families being ousted from their homes.
Because rules and enforcement vary by state and county, its critical to understand what your rights are where you live, says Jake Garrison, a real estate attorney in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
If your landlord is trying to evict you and you cant afford an attorney, educate yourself about the laws in your area. There are free legal resources in every state where tenants can get help and explore their rights, Garrison says.
In most cases, landlords cannot:
- Evict you without a court order
- Change the locks on you
Garrison advises tenants to document everything, including job loss and landlord harassment. This is critical if you decide to bring your case to court.
Tenants need to have proof get an affidavit from your boss saying that he cut back your hours or had to lay you off. The more written proof you have and the more organized and detailed the documentation is, the more likely the court is to rule in your favor, Garrison says.
Help For Renters During The Coronavirus Pandemic
Thomas J Catalano is a CFP and Registered Investment Adviser with the state of South Carolina, where he launched his own financial advisory firm in 2018. Thomas’ experience gives him expertise in a variety of areas including investments, retirement, insurance, and financial planning.
What if losing a job, even temporarily, means you need rent relief? As states attempted to slow the spread of the coronavirus by imposing lockdowns or stay-at-home orders, paying the rent became more difficult. Even after many states lifted lockdowns, economically impacted renters have wondered what relief they can get to help pay the rent or avoid eviction.
While programs for homeowners that prevent foreclosure and eviction or provide mortgage payment relief are available from the federal government, states, municipalities, and private lenders, many programs also offer help for renters. These programs were active during the height of the coronavirus lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, but many are expiring or have expired.
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