The COVID-19 pandemic created significant and serious turmoil around the world. The coronavirus impacted employment, housing and the overall economy in the U.S. as it did in other nations. The U.S. housing market was one particular area heavily and adversely impacted by the pandemic. Due to these circumstances, the U.S. federal government enacted the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

This program was made available to residents of U.S. states, territories and tribes alike. Even though the primary program was created by the federal government, similar to Medicaid it has a potentially different name in every state. Also similar to Medicaid, the federal government funds this program and provides certain guidelines and regulations. Each state is permitted to disburse applicable funds as it deems appropriate, however.

Learn How to Qualify for Some of the $25 Billion in Rental Assistance Available Today

This program was allotted $25 billion in funding to help with rent and other housing needs during the pandemic. Even though the intensity of the pandemic is fluctuating its effects are still constant. Therefore, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program is still active. In fact, over $12 billion in emergency rental assistance funds have been allocated and disbursed since the program’s inception, with $2.8 disbursed in October 2021 alone.

Unallocated funds are still available and in process of reallocation at the time of this writing. This is not a permanent program, however, and action must be taken soon to receive your assistance if qualified.

Qualifying for this program requires you and your household to meet certain minimum conditions. You might be the only person in your household. You might have a family or live with roommates. The number of people in your household, their income and other qualifying criteria is all taken into consideration. The primary qualifying conditions for Emergency Rental Assistance Program approval are the receipt of unemployment benefits, significant reduction of income or severe financial hardship caused by COVID-19-related circumstances. 

For example, you or another financial earner in your home must have lost a job due to COVID-19-related employer shutdowns or terminations. An additional qualifying factor is if you or someone in your household is at risk of becoming homeless or experiencing significant housing instability. Finally, you or another person in your household must have a total income up to a maximum of eighty percent of the median income in the region where you live.

Priority assistance might be available if you qualify. People unemployed for a minimum of ninety days prior to submitting applicants might be granted emergency relief over certain other applicants. Household incomes up to fifty percent of the median income in the region where you live might also be granted priority relief status.

Once approved, rental assistance through this program lasts for a maximum of twelve months. Additional three-month extensions might be granted under extreme circumstances at the discretion of each state, however.

Updated on 05/25/2022