If you’re having trouble paying for rent or utilities, you’re not alone. The federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program helps you cover housing costs and stay in a stable home during a crisis like a coronavirus pandemic. Numerous charities, non-profit organizations, as well as a few government associations, nowadays offer emergency rent assistance to those people who are facing expulsion or are being banished by their landlord. Along with this, there are also some other organizations, which can provide you with short-term loans that can help you with your issues. To get some assistance with the same purpose, you may also ask for assistance for the programs that helps pay rent.
However, before applying to the local rental assistance programs, you have to keep in mind that the provided rental assistance and funding generally varies from one organization to another. Therefore, naturally, the amount of money you will be receiving will depend on the agency or program that you are opting from. Also, if a rental assistance association has limited funding, then it will primarily focus on helping senior citizens, disabled persons, and low-income families. Therefore, if you have been unemployed for quite some time, then you might not get any help from them.
How Does Federal Rental Assistance Program Works?
The primary aim of the Federal Assistance Program is to offer one-time emergency rent assistance to help people to deal with their emergencies. So, if you want to apply for rental assistance, then you will have to show to the organization your capability and enthusiasm to improve your financial structure in the future.
In this article, we will discuss some common questions like: “How to apply for rental assistance?”, “Am I Eligible?” or “What does rental assistance cover?” etc.
However, almost all of the agencies offer their assistance even if you are yet to get an eviction notice from your landlord. So, if you do not have much money on your hands and are expecting to fall behind your rent in near future, then you can go to the respected associations and ask for financial assistance for rent.
You can also take their help if you are thinking to leave your current apartment and trying to find a new yet affordable home. However, no matter what are your reasons, for your own convenience, make sure to ask for the emergency rent providers’ help at least a few weeks before your issue starts.
What to do if you’re struggling to pay rent?
We can help you understand what steps should be taken.
Go Through Your Lease
Before taking emergency rental assistance from any organization, first, you need to know about your rights as a tenant. To know about this, make sure to go through your lease more than once. It generally takes at least three months before the expulsion proceedings start. So, you will get enough time with it.
Communicate with the Landlord
If you always have been a good tenant or share a great bond with your landlord, then they might help you with your cause. So, make sure to open up to them before taking any other decisions. You can request them about accepting late payments. You might also ask if you can pay the money in installments.
For lowering the amount of your rent, you may also ask them to offer your services. The more the work you will be doing, the better the situation would be for you. However, before going for this option, make sure to check if they are generous enough.
Look for Some Other Sources of Income
While taking the emergency rent assistance from non-profit organizations, you will also need to start looking for some other sources of income. You may ask your family members and relatives for lending some money. You might also opt for taking a side job that can help you to earn some money.
Find out the Programs that help pay rents
As mentioned before, there are numerous programs and organizations that offer emergency help with rent. So, if the previous methods have not worked out for you, then you would have to opt for these non-profit agencies. However, finding them might be a hassle for you. You can find a local rental assistance program near you by visiting this website. You will get help in all major states including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Florida, etc. Call 2-1-1 or your local housing authority for help if you can’t find any assistance program in your area.
So, before you go out and search for one, make sure to find out some of the general resources, such as phone numbers or websites, which can help you to connect with them. This will save not your precious time but also your energy.
Along with non-profit organizations, there are also many churches that help pay rent. So, you can also opt for them.
Crowdfunding is a great way to alert your friends and family members about your condition. So, if you are in need of some assistance with rent and security deposit, then you can also start crowdfunding.
How to Get Emergency Rent Assistance?
If your landlord has already presented the eviction notice, then you can opt for any of the emergency rental assistance programs. Here are some of the programs that can help you with it.
- Numerous cities in the world have a Local Salvation Army, which offers their assistance to help you to cover payments. However, you would have to apply in person and prove your problems.
- There are also some local charities, which offer numerous emergency rental assistance programs throughout the year. So, if you need money for rent, then you can opt for one of these local charities too.
- You can also take the help of some of the local churches to get low-income rental assistance. For doing that, you would have to talk with a caseworker and apply in person. However, not all churches can help you with this issue. So, make sure to check out the details before you opt for them.
- You can also opt for the government companies, who frequently offer help to the people in need. So, if you require some emergency assistance for your rent, then you can also opt for one of them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Now Let’s Discuss some common questions that you need to know
You can apply through your local emergency rental assistance program (ERA). Depending on the needs of the local community, local programs can set up policies and procedures in a flexible way. For example in some states, you have to apply for rental assistance, and landlords need to submit an application in other states.
The federal ERA Program allows local programs to cover household energy costs, including rent and utilities.
Electricity, gas, fuel oil, water and sewer, and trash removal are all included.
Generally, utilities and energy costs are covered by your landlord.
A rental assistance program may also cover:
A reasonable late fee (if not included with your rental or utility bill)Internet service at home
Moving expenses and other rental-related expenditures are incurred by families who have to move (such as security deposits, application fees, and screening fees).
Additionally, some programs may provide housing counseling, case management, and legal representation.
According to the federal ERA Program, local programs can receive up to 18 months of assistance with rent, including overdue rent, back to March 13, 2020.
The money must first be used for overdue rent.
Some local programs can assist with future rent payments as well. This could be up to 3 months at a time but it depends on your local program. Ask them how much assistance is available to you.
You must have an agreement to pay rent for your home to qualify for rent assistance. However there is no requirement for you to have a signed lease, and Apartments, houses, mobile homes, and any other place you live can be considered.
The following three statements must also be true:
1) At least one household member has:
Qualified for unemployment or should qualify
Owed large expenses, OR
Had other financial hardships
2) Your household income is below a certain amount, depending on where you live,
3) At least one member of your household is experiencing housing instability, which means they are at risk of becoming homeless or having difficulty finding a stable place to live.
The eligibility for a renter household is determined by their financial situation and housing needs.
When you apply for emergency rental assistance, you must verify that your income is eligible and that your housing situation is unstable.
You are required to sign a written statement that The information in your application is correct and complete, as well as the assurance that the emergency rental assistance will be used for the purpose intended.
It depends on your local program.
Some programs may contact your landlord or utility provider and ask them to accept emergency rental assistance.
Your local program may be able to give you the money if your landlord refuses to agree or does not respond within seven days (or within five days if the program contacts your landlord via phone, text, or email). Then You must have to pay the money to the landlord or utilities.
Alternatively, your local program may provide you with funds immediately without consulting your landlord. After receiving money, you must pay your bills.
As a renter, you will have at least 30 days in your hand to solve your rent issues. However, if you are unable to do anything, you have to opt for an organization that can help you to provide some emergency rent assistance. If you are struggling and you need to help with rent then relax. The Federal ERA program or Some non-profitable organization will surely help you. You just need to contact them and remember ‘There is no shame in asking for help’
Check our website to get more information about free financial assistance.