The Emergency Rental Assistance program was launched by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services this week. Funding for ERAP was provided by the second federal stimulus bill approved by Congress in late December.
The purpose of Pennsylvania Emergency Rental Assistance Program is to provide assistance to renters, landlords and utility providers who have been affected by the pandemic and economic insecurity. Under the program guidelines, eligible households may apply for assistance, with funding paid directly to the landlord or utility provider. An “eligible household” is defined using the following criteria:
- Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19
- Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability
- Has a household income at or below 80% of the area median as calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
PA DHS is administering the ERAP for those counties with a population of less than 200,000, while counties and cities with a population of 200,000 or more are administering their own programs with direct funding from the U.S. Treasury.
It is expected that all 67 county programs will be up and running in the next few weeks. Several counties administering their own programs already are accepting applications, and PA DHS currently is accepting applications through its COMPASS website.
Visit the PAR COVID-19 ERAP resource page for additional information and links to DHS and individual counties.