Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

Emergency Rental Assistance Program - ERAP

With the COVID-19 pandemic and its adverse effects on income and employment security, it is no wonder that some people may have difficulty coping with housing fees and payment of household utility bills. Since many have lost their jobs and the family income is barely enough for food and other basic needs, the need for the government to assist has become very important.

The government organizes a rental and utility assistance program which is administered under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) for many low-income households.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is a government-sponsored program that offers rental assistance and relief to low-income households. Households that are dealing with financial rental difficulty due to COVID-19 challenges are usually eligible for this assistance program.

ERAP was established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and was signed into law on February 5, 2021, by Governor Wolf. In signing the act into law, the Department of Human Services (DHS) can now implement and administer the ERAP program by the federal government agency.

The ERAP program assists households in paying up rental arrears that have been accumulated from 2020 and sent to the landlord or property owner.

In this way, the government ensures that households have secured housing and are not evicted or become homeless due to the pandemic and its challenges. The government throws a lot of weight behind this housing relief program to reduce the number of homeless people in the country.

ERAP focuses mainly on low-income households that are faced with rental difficulty by paying their due rents, household utility bills such as trash and sewer removal, electricity, gas and water, energy costs, and other household-related expenses directly to the property owner or utility providers.

The rental assistance covers almost all rental properties like rental units, motels, boarding homes, trailers, and also long-term hotel housing. 

Who is Eligible to Apply for ERAP?

To apply for this housing relief program, applicants must adhere to all of the criteria stated by the agency. Also, tenants can apply for themselves and their landlords can do so on behalf of their current tenants to enjoy the relief fund.

Either way, the landlord and tenant must both complete the application process as different parts need to be filled by both parties. Anyone can begin the application process, and the other person will be notified by email to follow up on the application process.

Whichever way, the landlord and tenants must have discussed this application procedure and understood it to be able to get along with no problems during the application. Some of these criteria which need to be met by the tenant include;

  • The head of the household or more people within the family must be US citizens to be eligible for this assistance, as the social security number would be requested.
  • The household must have previously paid rent on the residential property and currently have difficulty continuing the payment.
  • One or more people in the household must currently qualify for unemployment benefits or have a decreased income that fits into the low-income household.
  • The household must show proof of having been affected financially either directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The household must show the risk of housing instability or possible homelessness due to financial difficulty and possible evictions if help is not rendered.
  • The household’s income must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for the state in which the application is being processed.

For landlord’s application

Landlords and property owners would need to provide some basic documents to enable their tenants to benefit from the ERAP funding program. The landlord must coordinate with the tenants in giving out the necessary information. Some of this information is outlined below.

  • A W-9 tax form would need to be filled out online in the ERAP portal of the owner account.
  • Lease or tenant application and documents of payments for the last full rental fee, which must also include the tenant’s monthly obligations and unit address.
  • Documentation of rent due from a tenant by submitting a monthly rent confirmation form detailing the past due rent still owed by the tenant, including late fees.
  • Landlord’s bank details, which need to be filled in the direct deposit information on the ERAP portal.

Note that when all the information has been filled in and before it is submitted, the landlord or property owner would be required to sign the application form and other certifications that will indicate that all that has been uploaded is accurate and not false. Other terms and conditions which the property owner or landlord must adhere to upon signing the agreement for ERAP are as follows:

  • The property owner must be ready to accept the rental payment of ERAP and also, the payment must fulfill the tenant’s rents for all the periods covered by the payment.
  • The landlord must be willing to waive any late fees due on any rental arrears covered by the ERAP program.
  • Monthly rental fees must not be increased at the time of applying for ERAP housing assistance and approximately one year following ERAP payment.
  • Eviction for expired lease reasons is not permitted of the tenant on whose behalf the ERAP payment has been made must not be carried out. This should be adhered to for at least one year upon receipt of the payment.

How do I apply for ERAP?

Applications can be submitted online or directly to the county if applications cannot be submitted online. To apply, some information would be required of you, and some of this is:

  • Identification information of any member of the household, which may be a driver’s license, state-issued ID card, or passport
  • Current income information for all household members over the age of 18 or unemployment proof for working-class people.
  • Tenant lease or landlord-issued letter to show how much your household owes in rent currently.
  • Your landlord’s contact information and other details would be requested to ensure that your landlord participates in the application process.
  • Proof of utility expenses and bills that need to be paid, like water, electricity, gas, etc.

For more information, please visit: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/coronavirus/assistance-for-state-local-and-tribal-governments/emergency-rental-assistance-program

By Faith B

I'm Faith, a talented copywriter with many years of experience in creating top-notch content in the housing space. While I enjoy research, singing and chatting, my friends still call me an introvert.

75 comments

      1. Hello i been trying to see if im on the list.i fill the app out.im homeless with my som who was born with club foot.he can not be on his feet to long.we are sleeping in a mone working car.i need emergency help fast been reaching out.i dont know what or were to start.can someone please call me please.

        1. Hello Devine,

          You can start your applications through the ERAP portal at https://era.azdes.gov/ for all programs. This is the best and quickest way to receive assistance. All communications are sent via email, and you can track your application status through this portal.

        2. I received a award for the era back last year and I was trying to figure out what to do with the award,but to date- I haven’t received any emails or monies? What do I do? It expired on July 31,2021.

          1. Hello, please check back with the PHA office to find out if the award is still available and what steps to take next.

      2. Can you please help with where I can get housing government help with child care or getting disability for my son who is not yet to and has a very rare disability called pku they turned me down last year I’m a single mother struggling with no work and living with a friend

        1. Hi I am sorry to hear about your been turned down. However you can get housing assistance for single moms which offers a faster response then the HUD. To get more information about this, I urge you to read the previous article here.

        1. Hello Ruth, you can apply for the Section 8 housing voucher by submitting an application form at the PHA office or through the online website of the HUD.

    1. Kindly visit the PHA office in your area to apply for the emergency housing program. In there, you would be guided on the eligibility criteria and how to get a faster response on your housing needs. Check out the HUD website here to learn more.

      1. Evening my name is Antwan and I’m a single father full custody of a 12 year old boy and I need help bad can you help me please

        1. Hello, do well to submit your application for the section 8 housing assistance program online or at the nearest PHA office.

  1. Hello my name ia Stella valdez I live in San Antonio tx , I feel I've been a victim of unfair determination of my housing along side been threw much pain and suffering by my landlord ..it's been a long haul but praying me and my family can get some peace of mind knowing we can get some help from our better peers and threw the nations programs..lord knows we are in dyer need . I just don't know who /where or why to start at …Please help me understand all this for now me and my babies will be homeless very soon

    1. You can start your application process by getting in touch with the PHA office nearest to you. They would guide you on the necessary steps to take in submitting your application for suitable emergency housing for your needs. Click this link http://www.hud.gov to learn more about the HUD housing programs.

  2. Hello my name is Tina and I need emergency housing fast I'm homeless and have 4 children and it's really been hard for me I've been sick but I still keep looking and I keep getting the same results for housing I never thought it would be this hard to get a home for my children please help me I don't care about the location just need a home for my children, thanks for reading please help us.

    1. if you are at a high risk of becoming homeless, applying for the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program and it offers a quicker response in getting you a home within 30-60 days. To apply, contact your local administering agency or visit here

  3. Me and my family are homeless right now. We can't find an apartment to move into. I'm disabled with multiple different diseases but I'm very lucky that I can still do most things. And tomorrow is my daughter's Birthday; it's just so heart breaking to see my daughter having to spent her 6th birthday in Motel 6. We don't know what to do next. We have looked everywhere for a home for us and are still looking.

    1. We are so sorry to hear this but you can apply for the HUD housing assistance. The HUD provides housing vouchers for people with disabilities in its Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) which gives accepted applicants the ability to choose their own home. You can visit the HUD website to find out more about the eligibility http://www.hud.gov

    1. Hello Carolyn,

      The section 8 housing program is designed for the senior citizens, veterans and families with low-income. Check with your local housing authority for eligibility criteria and housing options suitable for your needs.

  4. I'm a Veteran who's been battling serious health issues that have kept me in & out of the VA hospital all year long. I've lost 2 jobs because of my health issues and was recently homeless and now stay in a boarding house. I've filed for SSI disability and tried to increase my benefits but heard nothing so far. I have No clue how I'm ever going to save any money to be able to live on My own because of my health. I'm dual diagnosed WITH COPD,Severe sleep Apnea, Bi-polar depression, Anxiety, PTSD.

    1. Kindly apply for the federal housing program for low-income families, veterans and persons living with disability administered under the Section 811. The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) allows accepted applicants the opportunity to choose their own home. You can visit the HUD website to find out more about the program and how to submit your application http://www.hud.gov

      1. Need help. For emergency Voucher because it too crime going. On need. better. Places for. me. and. my family it not safe where we are at now. Please help me

        ,. Thank. You. DorisElmore164 @gmail.com. Number is. 469 -245-3403

  5. I am homeless and staying with family that dont want me around cause i cant work an i have little money that comes in and i really need some help cause i feel like hurting someone for what i have to take me and my son.

    1. Kindly apply for the section 8 housing program and if you are in dire need of housing, you can speak with your local housing authority for available emergency housing options for your needs.

  6. I just got out of a abusive relationship and it has led me to homelessness. Can I apply for housing assistance? Please call me at 3185103563. Ty I'm in dire need of a place to call home now. I have nobody I can move in with I'm on disability now and it's getting cold some nights I left because m fiance has continuously abuse me and I have become homeless due to leaving him. Please contact me and let me know what I need to do.

    1. Hi Rhonda,

      I am sorry to hear about this but of course you can apply for a housing assistance program. Get in contact with the Local Housing Authority closest to you or click here to find one and speak to them about your current situation and housing needs.

  7. Hello this is Tammy I am deaf I am homeless and I am looking for apply for section 8 or TRA something like that please help me for that please….. Can u send me the address for apply please?? the address is 31 Sanford Terrance Irvington NJ 07111 and my text message is 862 444 1629 Okay please thanks and stay blessed

    1. Hi, the Section 811 is a government housing program which is specifically made available for the disabled with low-income. To apply for the Section 811, you have to get in touch with your local housing authority which can get a list of PHA offices nearest to you by clicking this link http://www.hud.gov. Also, you can submit your application online without having to go to a physical office.

  8. I'm in a dirè situation and need to accommodate housing immediately.Ii am trying to find resources financially but waiting.I have a broken pelvic and other health issues.and filing dissability.As of power I have nothing and on my own.I don't have much longer at my residence.I need to leave unsafe conditions and prospects of being put out with no where to go.Im 56 and desperately seeking a safe place to go and rebuild my life.please keep me informed about housing rescources.

    1. Hello,

      We are very sorry to hear about your plight. We have several information on our website regarding housing resources. In In the meantime, visit http://www.hud.gov to see if you qualify for section 8.

  9. Hi my name is Adrienne Watson I'm disabled and 60 years old an need a place to go, this asst living home I'm staying in is closing on 3rd I need to find a place to go or I'm going to be homeless please help 🙏🏿 my phone number is 480)495-4377 I live at 1
    024 N 62nd Ave my mailing address is 8601 N 103rd Ave lot49 Peoria Az 85345

  10. I am a disabled Veteran, at my age 62 what will the limit of rent ERAP will help me with since my income is below 80 % medium, can I get utility help to, or is that a separate issue since I am close to 63 in 2022 with disabilities that are Verifyed, thank you for your support. I need to stay where I live at this time because my disabled status to me that I can not relocate at this time. I am injured & can not move by myself.

  11. Hi I'm qualify for section8 what do I do next please help I'm 60 years old and a handicap this house I'm living in asst living home is closing on January 3rd I need a place to go, my name is Adrienne Watson my phone number is 480)495-4377 please call me when you get this message 🙋‍♀️

    1. Hello Adrienne,

      Since you qualify qualify for section 8.
      Applications for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program are entirely free, and depending on the PHA, will be available online, by mail or at the local housing authority’s office. For more questions you may have, kindly refer to our FAQS on section 8 here.

  12. Hello can government or city or state in AZ help with people that are homeless but have an income? I can't find any where to live , I only get 840 a month

  13. Hi my name is Jeremy west, I'm currently homeless in a need to get into a place I can call home. I do have family here in Oklahoma but, they can only help so much. Right now I'm unemployed behind leaving California because of the cov19. Please help me I really do need it.thank you ahead of time.

    1. Hi Jeremy,

      You can apply for ERAP assistance by logging onto the ERAP portal at https://era.azdes.gov/ for all programs. This is the best and quickest way to receive assistance. All communications are sent via email, additionally you can track your application status through this portal.

  14. I have filled out the section 8 application for emergency help. I'm getting e mails to confirm my status it keeps taking me to insurance. I already health insurance thru the state of Iowa. I have been homeless since October. I'm staying with a friend and she's getting letters from her trailor park management that I'm not on the lease and I need to find a place to go. I DON'T HAVE ANY PLACE TO GO BESIDES MY CAR. I also have my 2 lil chi pups with me. What is going on that I can't complete my verify part? Thank you

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      Please contact the ERAP Specialist working on your application or call their customer service line at 1-833-912-0878 to complain about the issue you have.

  15. Hi Faith,

    My name is Tonia. I was fortunate to receive help from your organization and I was so happy I cried. I am not very good finding things online and once I do, I tend to get lost. But I am very happy that I've found you now and I want to Thank You and if you would pass my Thank You on to each person there. You have no idea how much you all did for me. I was definitely going to be homeless. I have never experienced anything like this and now I am 60 years old. I was facing probably packing a suit case and going to a shelter. So, I was evicted and crying when my apt manager and the lease girl came to my door, and I had tried and tried to get my computer working to apply for help but I didn't have Windows and I spent many hours thinking I could get it downloaded but time ran out & I was scared to death to face my apartment manager, but she was at the door and I started crying, explaining what I was trying to do and then she told me she would apply for me & took my information & God Bless each and everyone of you because not only did it buy me more time but then you all approved my application. I did cry when I read your email that you had paid 4 and 3/4 months of my rent. I am very grateful for your help. This was huge and you have to know what a blessing this truly is.

    Sincerely,

    Tonia Ward

  16. My name is Barbara Villarreal I'm disabled I have 2 children a girl 12 and a boy 8 . I rent a 2bed house I do not have a bedroom. I'm looking for a 4 bed 2 bath house, manufactured home, or a modular home on a private lot.I live off of Disability, SSI and Childsupport. Which is D,-$384 a month SSI-$456 I believe and CS- 177 a week which is $1548. month . Now my landlord has raised my rent to %975. and I told him I couldn't afford it and that I would move out
    I don't want to be evicted so we will be homeless. I want to know if there is away I can get a hud rent to own home in Arizona due to my disability I need to live in a climate that is warm all year round. The cold and the elements prevent me from being able to function the pain is unbearable. The weather determines if I can walk move around without feeling like I might die. O truthfully want to be able to own my own home for my children so they never have to worry about adult issues and be able to plant roots and just be kids. I have 2 dogs small dog is an emotional support dog medium dog is a Certified Service Dog. I am begging for help to start this new journey of a life I can also be apart of instead of being the mom who can't because the pain is so severe I can't function. I do not know any of this works I just know what we need as a family. I absolutely do not want to live in a City or even a real large town I get scared. So I guess I'm asking about hud or rural development. I just to be able to give my kids a home that is ours
    I want to own it anyway I can Is that possible for us ? Please help and tell me what I need to do.
    Thank you for your time . Barbara Villarreal
    villarrealbarbara6@gmail.com
    402'298-6376
    307 E 16th Ave Bellevue NE 68005

    1. Hi Barbara,

      Due to your condition, you may apply for section 811. The Section 811 program allows persons with disabilities to live as independently as possible in the community by subsidizing rental housing opportunities which provide access to appropriate supportive services. To apply, please visit your local housing authority.

    1. Hi Ricardo,

      To know if you’re eligible, you can contact or visit your local emergency rental assistance (ERA) program. Each local program has some flexibility in how they set up policies and procedures to suit the needs of their local community. For example, in some areas, you can apply for rental assistance yourself.

    1. Most emergency low-income housing information is available online, but you often must apply in person at the agency or charity offering assistance. To apply, contact your local housing authority.

  17. I have tried understanding band filing out form for erap in Jefferson county Alabama i am being evicted out of the trailer i own bc of lot rent im not able to afford i no longer have income and am truly struggling my power has been cut off please help i lost my mom dad and significant other from 2018-2019 i lost my job i know i am needing assistance in this and been trying for a while yo get help with this thank you

    1. Hi Kelly,

      Am sorry to hear about this, however you can get housing assistance when you submit an application with the nearest PHA office to you. If you are in need of a fast housing assistance, you can apply for the rapid rehousing program by clicking here.

  18. The environment in which I am living is unbearable and my wife and I need a new place to live I am on disability thank you

  19. My name is Pamela and I have one kid and I am deaf and I am disability ssi we been live apt for longer we not want move out we love apt landlord so sweet I look help section 8 I only have ssi not enough pay rent and see how I can get section 8 please help us and we only stay for may and June we move out end of June I ask y’all help me how I can apply section 8 thanks so much email me ***@gmail.com and my phone **** soreson for deaf thanks have nice day 🤟🏼🤟🏼🤟🏼

    1. Hello, you can get help for your housing needs by visiting the PHA office close to you to fill out your application.

    1. Hi, you can submit your section 8 application at the local housing authority office or the PHA office.

  20. I have been waiting on section 8 for 10 years I just need to know how I can go by getting on y’all list cuz I really need a place to stay with my grandson and his family

    1. Hi, I advise you to check your status on the Section 8 waiting list right on the HUD website. You can also choose to revisit your application and find out the cause of the delay or submit a new application

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