How Long Does ERAP Take to Get Approved?
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly taken its toll on the average property renter. If you've been having a hard time paying your rent due to COVID-related hardships, you may be qualified for emergency rental assistance. With federal funding being distributed by states and other municipalities, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program is helping countless households avoid eviction. But how long does ERAP take to get approved?
If you need help paying rent today to avoid further legal action from your landlord, a lengthy wait time for an application approval could mean the difference between remaining housed and becoming homeless. Fortunately, you can use the Rental Assistance product from DoNotPay to expedite the ERAP application process. With DoNotPay, you can also find and apply for other forms of rental assistance that you're qualified to receive.
What Is ERAP?
ERAP or the Emergency Rent Assistance Program is designed to offset the financial impact of COVID-related job loss, income loss, and business closures by helping consumers avoid eviction and utility service loss. If you're approved for ERAP funding, this program will pay:
- Your past due rent
- All late fees on past due rent
- Past due utility bills
ERAP funding can even cover your rental costs for the next three months so that you have ample time to regain your financial bearing. Rent payments from ERAP include:
- Trailer rental costs
- Trailer lot rental costs
- Long-term housing motels, boarding rooms, and hotels
Utility payments made with ERAP monies can include separately stated costs for:
- Fuel oil
- Sewer services, as needed
Where Does ERAP Funding Come From?
Funding for the ERAP program comes from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (C.A.R.E.S) Act. With more than $21.55 billion dollars in utility and rental assistance to distribute, this funding was parted out to all 50 states. Distribution of monies for ERAP is handled at the state, county, and city levels throughout the U.S.
Who Is Eligible for ERAP?
In most locations, both tenants and landlords can apply for ERAP assistance. Landlords can initiate the application process by reaching out to an issuing party on behalf of tenants who are in arrears. To qualify for ERAP, households must have one or more income-earning individuals who've:
- Qualified for unemployment
- Experienced a decrease in wages
- Experienced a decrease in hours
or experienced any other documented financial hardship as the result of the pandemic. It is also necessary for one or more household members to demonstrate being at risk of homelessness, whether by sharing a copy of an eviction notice or providing a copy of a pay or quit notice. Qualified applicants must additionally have a total household income that's at or less than 80 percent of the area median income (AMI).
How Long Does It Take to Receive Emergency Rental Assistance?
One of the biggest challenges of implementing the ERAP program in nearly every jurisdiction has been finding a way to meet the incredibly high levels of demand. Staffing shortages and a lack of infrastructure for implementing this program in key areas has led to significant delays in processing applicants. In some locations, ERAP applications are approved and the related funds are distributed within just one to two weeks. However, in areas with especially high demand for emergency rental assistance funding, approval processes can span on for a month or more.
Preventing Eviction While Waiting for an ERAP Approval
Fortunately, there are measures in place that prevent landlords from taking continued legal action once an ERAP application has been initiated. If you need help paying rent to avoid eviction, you can learn more about these measures by:
- Calling 211 to speak with a Community Resources Operator
- Speaking with an ERAP program director in your area
- Contacting a local agency that offers free legal aid for at-risk tenants
During the ERAP application process, landlords are kept in the loop. Once your application is received by the funding agency, your landlord will receive notification of potential funding. Thus, even though your landlord might not have a check in hand immediately, they will know that you're already taking action to resolve your debt.
Other Rental Assistance Programs
ERAP assistance isn't the only form of rent help that you can apply for. There are many other resources for rental assistance available. There are even long-term options in support for those who are always at-risk of homelessness due to high living costs and low-income.
For instance, you can contact your local Housing Authority to learn more about government assistance for rent in the form of Section 8 or Housing Choice vouchers, affordable housing developments, and public housing programs. Applying for HUD rental assistance will give you a long-term solution to your rent troubles if your rental costs exceed more than 40 percent of your total monthly income.
There are also rental housing assistance programs that are designed to meet the needs of specific demographics including:
- Disabled veterans
- At-risk youth
- Victims of domestic violence
- People with HIV who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
- Aging adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
If you want to find out how to get help with rent in your area, you can always start by calling 211 or by signing up for DoNotPay.
How to Apply for ERAP on Your Own
Contact your local Housing Authority and the Department of Social Services in your area to find out which agencies are managing the ERAP application process near you. You can also contact the local Public Health Department to get information on this funding. If you have a hard time finding an agency to process your application, you can also ask your landlord for assistance. Landlords can apply for this funding on behalf of their tenants.
Next Steps if You Can't Get Approved for ERAP by Yourself
If you're having a hard time applying for ERAP or checking your ERAP status, consider calling 211. In many states and local jurisdictions, 211 is the referral line for social service programs. When you call this community resource hotline, you can schedule an appointment with nearby agencies that process ERAP applications, get answers to your questions about how to get help with rent, and identify additional resources for rental assistance.
Use DoNotPay to Get Rental Assistance
The Rental Assistance product from DoNotPay is designed to make getting emergency rent support easy. You can use DoNotPay to get help with your unpaid rent, your move-in costs, and your late fees. DoNotPay can even help you find a rental housing assistance program that will give you long-term access to affordable housing.
How to Apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) With DoNotPay
We can compose a letter to your local housing authority based on your situation and inquire about your best options for receiving assistance. Here are the 4 steps:
- Search for Rental Assistance on DoNotPay.
- Put together a list of your income, debts, expenses, and assets. If you need help accessing information like your credit report, DoNotPay can help you get your report.
- Let DoNotPay collect your basic information and compose a letter to your local housing authority requesting rental assistance.
- Lastly, DoNotPay will send your letter to your local housing authority.
Why Use DoNotPay to Find and Apply for Rent Help?
Using the Rental Assistance product from DoNotPay is both fast and easy. DoNotPay helps expedite this process by appealing directly to funding agencies on your behalf. With DoNotPay, you can successfully get the ERAP funding or other rental assistance you need to avoid eviction.
DoNotPay Works Across All States and Agencies With a Single Click
Whether you want to apply for HUD rental assistance or a rental housing assistance program that's funded by a local church or social service agency, DoNotPay can streamline and expedite the application process for you.
DoNotPay works across all agencies, companies, and groups with a single click. With the Rental Assistance product from DoNotPay, you can apply for all of the rental assistance funding that you're qualified to receive within just minutes.
How Else Can DoNotPay Make Your Life Easier?
If you're worried about how long it might take for your ERAP application to be approved, using the Rental Assistance product from DoNotPay can definitely help speed things up. However, DoNotPay is also a great resource for solving many other problems. With DoNotPay, you can:
- Find missing money that you're entitled to
- Take a case to small claims court
- Submit a formal complaint against your neighbors
- Lower your property taxes
- Schedule a DMV appointment fast
- Find and apply for scholarships
Sign up for DoNotPay today to get started!