Monday, June 7, 2021

Rep. Pennycuick: COVID-19 Rental Help is Available

Blogger's Note:
The following was first published in the weekly newsletter sent out by state Rep. Tracy Penncuick, R-147th Dist.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is available for renters of residential properties who are at risk of eviction or utility shutoffs due to hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Landlords can apply for assistance on behalf of tenants and receive assistance directly if the tenant is eligible.

Households may be eligible for up to 12 months of assistance to cover past-due or future rental and/or utility payments. The amount of a household’s monthly rent or utility bills does not preclude eligibility, but the amount of ERAP assistance provided to a household is determined by program administrators at the county level.

State Rep. Tracy Pennycuick
Assistance can be provided to a tenant in a residential rental property for future rental payments and for unpaid rental or utility arrears that were accrued on or after March 13, 2020. Counties may choose to provide additional assistance to eligible households if funds remain available.

Residential tenants can apply for themselves, or a landlord can apply on behalf of a current tenant. Additionally, landlords do not have to agree to participate in the program for tenants to receive assistance.

To qualify for assistance, a household must be responsible to pay rent on a residential property and meet ALL of the following criteria:
  • One or more people within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits, had a decrease in income, had increased household costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the COIVD-19 pandemic.
  • One or more individuals in the household can show a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
  • The household has an income at or below 80 percent of area median income, which varies by county. Income limits by county are available and can be found here. Resources such as bank accounts and cars are not relevant for ERAP eligibility.
Learn more about the program and how to apply here.

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