Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
What can ERAP help with?
The Maryland Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) provides financial assistance for the following:
- Up to 12 months of overdue rent – going back to March 13, 2020
- Up to 12 months of overdue utility or home energy costs – going back to March 13, 2020
- Up to 3 months of current or future months’ rent at a time
- Up to 3 months of current or future months’ utility costs at a time
- Housing-related costs due to COVID19 such as relocation assistance, security deposit, rental application fees, accrued late fees
Each household is eligible for up to 15 months of assistance total under ERAP. ERAP cannot pay for rental and utility costs that have been or will be covered under another funding source (no duplication of benefits). The tenant can apply for assistance themselves or their landlord can apply for assistance on the tenant’s behalf. Tenants must sign the application and attest that all the information in the application is true.
Applicants, both tenants and landlords, are entitled to receive reasonable accommodations for disabilities, literacy and comprehension, lack of technology/internet access, and more at the time of application and throughout the process to determine eligibility. Examples of reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to: receiving assistance from staff to complete the application, waivers of certain documentation requirements, and extended time to reply to program communications.
Applicants may also request translated versions of forms into languages other than English, as well as access to interpreter services to communicate with program staff in their primary language.
Household Eligibility Information
To be eligible for ERAP, tenants must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
- Property must be located in Kent or Caroline County
- Legally obligated to pay rent or utility costs
- Have annual household income under 80% of the Area Median Income for their county
- Qualify for unemployment assistance OR have financial hardship directly or indirectly related to COVID19
- Be at risk of losing their housing or utilities, currently homeless, or need to relocate housing units due to unsafe, unsanitary, or overcrowded housing conditions
If the household has annual income below 50% of the Area Median income for their county or has a household member who has been unemployed for the last 90 days, their application will be prioritized or assistance.
Minimum Required Documentation
The applicant must attach the following supporting documents to the application for it to be considered complete and to ensure timely processing:
- Copy of Photo ID (address must match the address where assistance is requested)
- Copy of lease or alternative documentation of rental unit address and monthly rent amount (such as letter from landlord)
- Documentation of household income (examples: paystubs, W-2s or other wage statements, unemployment benefits statements, tax filings, bank statements demonstrating regular income, or an attestation from an employer)
- Documentation of housing instability and overdue payments (examples: overdue rent/utility notice, eviction notice, letter from homeless program or community-based organization, evidence of unsafe/unsanitary/overcrowded housing conditions)
- Documentation of relocation or new unit expenses if requesting assistance for other housing- related costs (examples: bills, invoices, or leases showing security deposits owed, rental application fees, etc.)
- Landlord/property owner W-9 (if landlord agrees to accept payment and ERAP concessions)
Documentation of financial hardship is NOT needed – tenants may self-certify that they meet the requirements.
Supporting documentation for the application can be accepted in multiple formats – digital copy, photo, email, etc. Original documents are never required. When copies of third-party source documentation are not available, attestations from caseworkers or other service providers/community organizations may be accepted to document household eligibility.
If the applicant is unable to provide required documentation, the tenant must self-certify that they are eligible to receive assistance. A staff person will follow up with the tenant to determine whether they meet the program requirements.