Residents in cities like New York, San Francisco and Chicago already can apply for back rent assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which is part of the federal funds approved in the United States Congress for families affected by the health crisis.
Last January, the Treasury Department opened a portal to disburse funds from the program established as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 or about $ 25 billion.
The second part of the program (ERA2) was extended under the “American rescue plan” approved last March with the allocation of $ 2.5 billion dollars.
The funds will be provided directly to the states (including the District of Columbia), US territories, local governments, and designated tribal housing entities with more than 200,000 residents to be distributed to eligible individuals.
The funds must be disbursed to the beneficiaries through recently created or existing rental assistance programs in each demarcation, according to a statement from the Treasury.
Thus, in each state, territory or entity the requirements and procedures to request aid for up to 12 months may vary.
It does not matter the immigration status of the applicant
In the case of New York City, the ERAP opened its portal for a period of six months or until funds run out. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office estimated that up to 200,000 families could benefit from the incentive.
To apply for help, the person’s immigration status does not matter.
Requirements to apply for rental assistance in NY
The main requirement is that the applicant has a household income of less than 80% of the area median income. In New York, this means that for a family of four, the income must be below $ 90,960 a year, according to the Telemundo report.
The person must also prove that on or after March 13, 2020, one of the household members received unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in income due to the pandemic.
Additionally, the person must be at risk of losing the living space, which can be demonstrated with documents that show the delay in the payment of rent from the date indicated above.
• Present a personal identification or passport or birth certificate for those without identification
• Present a rental contract, even if it has expired
• Letter from the landlord
Priority to families with less than 50% of the median income in the area
In the first 30 days of the program in NY or until July 1, priority will be given to families with less than 50% of the median income or who live in areas that have been most affected by COVID-19.
Those who qualify for the ERAP in New York can also receive help paying off past-due debts for utilities such as electricity or water.
For more information, you can go directly to the NY Emergency Rental Assistance Program website.
For other states, users should look up the instructions under ERAP and the appropriate demarcation.