Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions for Eviction Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) that may help with questions or concerns you may have.
Who is eligible to receive ERAP assistance?
Households must meet two initial screening criteria:
Current Income (average over last 60 days) at or below 80% of Area Median Income.
Any missed/past due rent payment not paid or partially unpaid since March 1, 2020 and still occupying the residence.
Household must also meet at least one of the following additional screening criteria (any member of the household can meet the criteria, it doesn’t have to be the head of household):
Rent burdened: 50% or more of current monthly income is needed to pay rent, or;
Previously homeless within last five years. This includes experiences of couch surfing/double up, or;
Eviction history within last seven years, or;
Housing disrupted due to household member race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion, or;
At risk of severe illness as per CDC (62 or older, underlying condition), or;
Disability of any household member. Includes a physical, developmental, mental, or emotional impairment, including impairment caused by alcohol or drug abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, or brain injury. A person with HIV/AIDS is considered disabled.
If screening a young adult age 24 or younger, these additional criteria can be used to determine eligibility:
Person 24 years old or younger that is pregnant or parenting, or;
Person 24 years old or younger that is a recipient (current or past) from any one of the following: foster care; adoption; mental health; drug, alcohol treatment; court systems.
What is the income limit to be eligible for this assistance?
80% AMI or less.
How much of my rent can be paid?
We can pay up to 150% of FMR, not to exceed the amount of rent due.
Does a client need to be employed in order to get their rent paid?
Employment is not a criterion.
Does a client need to show they’ve been impacted by COVID to get their rent paid? No
Are mixed status families eligible?
Are undocumented households eligible? Yes, documentation stays local and is given to funder in an aggregate form so they never see who applies.
What does housing disrupted due to household member race, etc. mean?
When answering this question, consider the following:
It could mean being kicked out of a house and becoming homeless, it could mean feeling discriminated against and harassed by a landlord, or it could mean someone lost their job because of their gender identity or race which resulted in an inability to pay rent, or something else.
Will only current residents be eligible for the funds or can households apply if they move out and owe a balance?
The program is only to assist people who are current residents with a rent obligation.
Do I have to be a Spokane County resident?
Yes, this grant serves both Spokane City and County residents.
If a household is receiving a project-based or tenant-based subsidy through another agency, can they qualify for ERAP assistance if they are unable to pay their portion of the rent?
If a household is residing in a transitional housing program and is owing at least one month of rent would the household potentially qualify for ERAP funds?
Yes, if eviction would be a consequence of nonpayment.
Can someone paying monthly “rent” at a motel/hotel qualify for ERAP?
What calculation method are you looking for when determining annual income?
Current income (average over last 60 days) must be at or below 80% AMI. Income includes all adult (18 years and older) household members and unearned income attributable to a minor. A household is one or more individuals seeking to maintain housing together. If income is a fixed amount (TANF, SSDI, etc.), multiply the gross monthly amount by 12 to determine annual income. If income is not at a fixed amount each month, (TANF, SSDI, etc.) determine the average over the last 60 days by using the following method: $(60 days of total income)/2 = Average income X 12 months=Annual income.
Is unemployment counted as income?
Does the federal supplemental unemployment insurance count as income?
Does federal COVID stimulus money count as income?
Are W-9s from landlords required to be in each client file?
Yes, SNAP policy.
If there is a formal lease agreement with a landlord is it required to be in the file with the landlord payment agreement form?
A copy of a rental or lease agreement is not required.
Do the clients need to sign the application, there isn’t a space for signatures? No
How does the 12 month limit apply?
The household can receive up to 12 months of assistance total. If a household returns for additional assistance after their last ERAP payment was made, new eligibility paperwork must be completed. Example: a household received 3 months of arrears. If they returned and are eligible, they could receive up to an additional month. Only one month future rent (total) allowed.
Can a tenant access the program more than 1 time?
Can we serve households in subsidized housing?
Can we pay utilities, if they are included in the overall rental costs paid to the landlord?
If someone owns a mobile home or RV and is renting the lot, can arrears or rent on lots be paid?
Can campground rent be paid for an RV staying at a campground?
No, campgrounds normally have stay limits and are not permanent.
How is FMR calculated when someone is renting a room?
Use FMR for the number of bedrooms in the unit. Example, if a person is renting one bedroom in a two-bedroom unit, split the FMR.
What is considered a rent arrear?
The definition is “any missed rent payment” whether it is a day late or 30 days late.
How do we determine FMR for a hotel/motel room?
Use a studio/efficiency FMR comparison.
Does the Payment Agreement Form need a wet (original) signature? Is verbal, email or text authorization allowed?
If a signature cannot be obtained, we’d request that the communication be traceable, for example an email or text message rather than verbally, and that the landlord or friend/family confirms that somewhere, ‘I affirm this is true’ or ‘yes, this is true to the best of my knowledge’ in the email or text.