BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced her office is launching the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to help provide financial relief to landlords and renters who have been impacted during the pandemic.
Tenants are now able to submit their documents. Those documents must include a lease and information about the payments they are behind on. They also need contact information from their landlord.
Within a week or two, they will be assigned a case manager to contact them to verify their documentation.
They’ll then move into processing to understand how much they will receive. It works on a case-by-case basis, and anyone can get anywhere from 3-12 months of past payments. They may also qualify for future costs depending on your level of income and level of need.
Even after the application has launched, landlords and homeowners can still submit a needs assessment.
“We also want to make sure that we let the landlords know that we continue to have resources for them throughout this entire time,” said Courtney Scott, East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant Chief Administrative Officer. “Everyone has been impacted, not by their own discretion, of course, but understanding that everyone has to see what we’re working with, what financial resources are needed, and then also making sure that the landlords understand we want them to be a part of this healthy housing network to sustain housing for all of our residents.”
They’re encouraging as many people as possible to submit the needs assessment because the data helps them continue to prepare for things to come and to make sure that they’re putting the proper support in place for the needs that exist in the parish.
Landlords can refer their tenants.
If you live in another parish, you can head over to Louisiana Housing Corporation’s website. The state is rolling out a program as well.
The program currently has 29-million dollars in aid, which must be spent by Dec. 31. Landlords are encouraged to provide an assessment of late rental payments and apply for assistance. Those who are approved may be eligible to receive past due rent dating back to April 1, 2020, from tenants who are unable to pay due to COVID-19. EARP will disperse funds directly to the landlord, not the tenant.
Renters facing financial hardships because of the pandemic are also encouraged to apply for assistance. An “eligible household” must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant cost, 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% area median income (AMI).
- Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of the assistance of overdue rent payments, plus an additional 3 months for future rent payments, up to a maximum of $15,000 per household.
A call center will also be available for individuals who are unable to apply online. Click here to apply.
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