Alachua County rental assistance program opens today

Alachua County will begin accepting online applications at noon today for more than $8 million in federal rental assistance funds.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is a federal grant intended to assist households who cannot pay or are having difficulty paying rent and/or utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It can assist eligible households with the payment of late rent and/or utilities and may also assist with rent payment in advance. Payments will generally be made only to landlords, property managers and/or utility companies, not the households themselves.

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Each household is limited to a maximum of $15,000 in assistance.

Those interested in applying can click here to read the program information page and the FAQ page. The advance information will help expedite the application process. 

The county will give priority to households that meet the “high-priority” conditions as defined by the U.S. Department of the Treasury of either being below 50 percent of area median income (low income) and/or having a household member who is and has been unemployed for at least 90 days. Only high priority applications will be processed for the first three weeks of the program (timeline may be extended based on volume of applications received).

The ERAP is designed to assist Alachua County residents impacted by COVID-19 with rent and utility assistance. The program requires various forms of documentation to determine eligibility, and if eligible, to determine the amount of financial assistance available per household.

Eligibility criteria:

1. Must be an Alachua County resident who has rent obligations for and is residing in the property that is in arrears (late rent payments or at risk for nonpayment) as their primary residence and;

2. One or more adults in the household as listed on the lease must have qualified for unemployment benefits on or after March 13, 2020 OR experienced a reduction in household income on or after March 13, 2020, due to the coronavirus outbreak and;

3. One or more adults in the household as listed on the lease must be able to demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability such as a past due rent or utility notice, court issued eviction notice, unsafe or unhealthy living conditions, or documented inability to pay prospective rent and;

4. Total household income (including all adults residing at the address and listed on the lease) must fall at or below these amounts, based on household size:

Household size income

1 $39,100.00

2 $44,700.00

3 $50,300.00

4 $55,850.00

5 $60,350.00

6 $64,800.00

7 $69,300.00

8 $73,750.00

High priority households are defined as those who meet ALL eligibility requirements above AND either have a household member (as listed on the lease) who is currently unemployed and has been unemployed for 90 or more days OR has total household income below these amounts, based on household size:

Household size income

1 $24,450.00

2 $27,950.00

3 $31,450.00

4 $34,900.00

5 $37,700.00

6 $40,500.00

7 $43,300.00

8 $46,100.00

Eligibility criteria for landlord:

1. Must provide a valid W-9 for payment to the owner of the rental property or property management company (property management companies requesting direct payment must provide a signed agreement with owner).

2. Must confirm that any rental arrears submitted for consideration are for Alachua County properties only.

3. Must complete and submit the Landlord/Property Manager Statement form.

4. Must read and agree to full terms and conditions that are outlined prior to submission of the application. Please review thoroughly prior to submitting application.

Visit the program page here.

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