Maricopa County – Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

Maricopa County Rental Assistance

Rental assistance refers to the financial support provided to individuals or families who are facing housing instability and are unable to afford their rental costs. It is especially crucial during times of financial hardship, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic when many are struggling to meet their basic needs. Rental assistance programs aim to prevent eviction and homelessness by providing eligible residents with financial aid for their rental expenses, which may include the payment of past-due rent, upcoming rent, or security deposits. These programs are typically administered by government agencies, community action programs, or non-profit organizations, often with federal funding and under federal guidelines. The assistance offered can vary in terms of the duration and level of support provided, depending on factors such as household income, location, and availability of funds. It addresses the immediate need for stable housing, ensuring individuals and families can remain in their homes and avoid displacement.

Overview of Maricopa County

Maricopa county
Thanks to https://www.pinterest.com/pin/159807486768319100/ for the map

Maricopa County is one of the largest and most diverse counties in the United States, with a population of over 4 million residents. Located in the state of Arizona, Maricopa County is home to a variety of communities and offers a range of services to support its residents.

The Maricopa County Human Services Department plays a vital role in ensuring that individuals and families facing financial hardships receive the necessary assistance. The department is dedicated to supporting the well-being of its residents and strives to create strong families, neighborhoods, and community relationships.

The department offers a wide array of services, including rental assistance for those experiencing housing instability, utility assistance to help with energy costs and other utility bills, and emergency rental assistance programs to prevent eviction. These programs frequently offer eligible county residents who are suffering from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic several months of assistance.

Federal funding and regulations serve as support for Maricopa County’s commitment to providing financial assistance. The department also collaborates with local government agencies and community action programs to ensure that individuals and families receive the support they need.

Overall, Maricopa County is dedicated to helping its diverse population navigate through their financial challenges and maintain stable housing. Through the services provided by the Maricopa County Human Services Department, residents can access resources, receive financial assistance, and find the support they need to overcome their housing and utility-related hardships. Maricopa

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Financial Hardships

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on individuals and families, leading to unprecedented financial hardships for many. As people faced job losses, reduced hours, and business closures, the ability to meet basic needs, including paying rent and utilities, became a significant challenge. In Maricopa County, Arizona, where thousands of residents were affected, the need for rental assistance and utility assistance surged. Recognizing the urgent situation, the Maricopa County Human Services Department, along with other government agencies, established emergency rental assistance programs to help eligible county residents facing housing instability.

With federal funding and guidelines in place, these programs aim to provide financial assistance to low-income families, helping them cover rental costs, utility bills, and even mortgage assistance. The application process was designed to be expeditious, ensuring that those in need receive timely support. Through these concerted efforts, Maricopa County is working towards mitigating the financial impact of the pandemic and providing vital assistance to its residents in need.

Federal Funding for Emergency Rental Assistance

Federal funding is being utilized to provide emergency rental assistance in Maricopa County, Arizona. The Arizona Department of Economic Security has implemented the Emergency Rental Assistance program, which aims to assist eligible renters who are facing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this program, eligible renters in Maricopa County can receive up to $3,500 per month for a period of up to 18 months.

The goal of this federally funded program is to give families and individuals who are having trouble making their rent payments financial support. It is specifically designed to help those who are facing housing instability and are at risk of eviction due to their inability to pay rent.

Residents of Maricopa County who are experiencing financial difficulties can apply for this program. Additionally, tenants in Maricopa County may also be eligible for other rental assistance programs offered by their city or county. These programs are implemented to support low-income families and individuals who need help with their housing expenses.

The Emergency Rental Assistance program in Maricopa County is an important resource for eligible renters who are experiencing financial hardships. By utilizing federal funding, this program aims to provide the necessary support to individuals and families to help them maintain stable housing during these challenging times.

Reduction of Mortgage or Rent Payments

In Maricopa County, individuals and families facing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic can seek assistance to reduce their mortgage or rent payments. The county offers various programs and resources to provide relief to those struggling to make housing payments.

One of the key resources available is the federally funded Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF), designed to support low-income homeowners struggling with mortgage payments. This program aims to prevent foreclosure and provides financial assistance to eligible homeowners affected by the pandemic.

For renters, the Maricopa County Client Portal offers several rental assistance programs. One such program is the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which provides financial aid to eligible county residents to cover past-due rent and utility bills. The program accepts applications through the Client Portal and aims to help residents maintain their housing stability during these challenging times.

In addition to these programs, homeowners and renters must understand foreclosure prevention and be aware of their rights in such situations. By knowing their options and seeking assistance early on, individuals can better navigate through difficulties and find the support they need to reduce their mortgage or rent payments in Maricopa County.

Overall, Maricopa County offers a range of resources to alleviate the burden of housing expenses, providing much-needed relief to individuals and families facing financial hardship during these challenging times.

Client Portal

A Client Portal has been established by the Maricopa County Human Services Department (MCHSD) to facilitate the online submission of applications for rental and utility assistance.

Client Portal: https://hsdclientportal.maricopa.gov/

There are no restrictions on citizenship or immigration status, and a Social Security Number is not required to participate in the Emergency Rental Assistance program. The program is open to all households.

The MCHSD expects a significant amount of interest; as a result, the application processing and notification times may be extended. During this time, we ask for applicants’ patience and understanding.

Please fill out the Contact Form or give us a call at 602-506-0589 if you have any questions about the requirements for participation in the Emergency Rental Assistance program or the information necessary to apply. Within one (1) business day, a response will be sent to all voicemails and forms submitted through the Contact Us page.

Families are Eligible

Families in Maricopa County who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic may be eligible for Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) from the Human Services Department’s Community Services Division.

Households that meet the conditions are eligible to receive payments for up to fifteen (15) months for the following:

  • Rental help
  • Assistance with the costs of utilities such as gas, electricity, water, sewer, and/or rubbish collection.

All past due and unpaid rental and utility bills, as well as upcoming installments, are eligible for payment.

Prioritization

The funds will be allocated to those in greatest need. Applications for assistance will be prioritized according to the following government guidelines:

  • Less than half of the area median income households (AMI)
  • At the time of application, households in which at least one member has been unemployed for at least 90 days and the poverty rate is at least 80 percent. AMI

Moreover, the following system will be utilized to rank applications:

According to the applicant’s submission, no COVID impact exists.

  • 0 = Based on the applicant’s response,
  • 1 = COVID has a low influence.
  • 2 = High priority because the client has indicated that they have been affected by COVID and they meet the eligibility standards.
  • 3 = Applicants who have previously received ERA funding and may be eligible for additional.

Availability

Residents of Maricopa County who are qualified and live in cities other than Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, or Phoenix will get assistance from the Human Services Department of Maricopa County.

You can get additional information about how to apply for ERA in Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, or Phoenix by downloading a program flyer (in Spanish) or clicking on the following links:

Maricopa County will provide service to any other cities, towns, county islands, and unincorporated areas in the state. Community Action Program (CAP) offices offer assistance and can be found in various locations throughout the county. To apply for ERA, follow the step-by-step instructions that are provided below.

Where to Begin and How to Do It

Step 1: Determine Eligibility

The fulfillment of the following requirements is necessary to qualify for assistance:

  • Maricopa County is the location of the household, however, it is not in the cities of Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, or Phoenix; and
  • OR the household is experiencing financial trouble as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic; AND at least one member of the household has been eligible for Unemployment Insurance from the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) since March 13, 2020.
  • There is a possibility that the household could become homeless or experience housing instability; and
  • The income of the household is equal to or less than 80 percent of the median income in the area (AMI).
Household Size 50% Area Median Income 80% Area Median Income
1 $27,650 $44,250
2 $31,600 $50,600
3 $35,550 $56,900
4 $39,500 $63,200
5 $42,700 $68,300
6 $45,850 $73,350
7 $49,000 $78,400
8 $52,150 $83,450

*The Emergency Rental Assistance program does not require households to provide proof of citizenship or immigration status, and it does not request proof of either citizenship or immigration status from households.

If you are interested in other Human Services Department programs, further documentation, such as a Social Security card or confirmation of your citizenship or immigration status, may be required from you.

The next step is to gather the required documentation.

Please gather the following information so that we can help you determine your eligibility. You must submit the documentation indicated above to be considered for assistance.

Needed Information Regarding Tenants

Pick one alternative out of the following choices:

  • Evidence in the form of documents demonstrating that COVID-19 has caused severe financial hardship
  • Proof from the Arizona Department of Economic Security that a member of the family qualifies for Unemployment Insurance (the eligibility period runs from March 30, 2020, to the present).

At all times required:

  1. Documentation that the candidate can prove their identity
  2. Lease agreement
  3. a record of the family’s total income for the thirty days immediately before the application date.
  4. The accumulation of any one of the following factors reveals the risk of being homeless or of having unstable housing:
    • Past due rent notification
    • Past due energy bill
    • Possession notice
    • Utility termination notice
    • Statute of reparation
    • Opinion about eviction
    • Display less than seven days of remaining pre-paid utility on the pre-paid account.

The following are requirements to qualify for assistance with utility costs:

  • Recent utility bill for each service provider that has asked for help with the
  • Release of Information Form

Landlords Must Complete Forms

To receive Emergency Rental Assistance, your landlord must submit a Landlord Verification Form. In addition, your landlord is expected to:

  • Fill out the Landlord Verification Form with their Vendor Code after registering as a Maricopa County vendor.

OR

  • Fill out the W-9 Form

Your application will not be complete until we have received all of these forms. Simply get a copy of each form by following the links provided below.

Landlord Verification Form

W9 Form

Please keep in mind that the Human Programs Department or your local CAP office may request further documents if you qualify for other services.

The third step is to ask for help.

To apply for ERA, you can do so either online or in-person at your nearest CAP office.

Option 1: Complete an online application by using this link, you’ll be redirected to the Human Services Client Portal.

When you are brought to the home page of the Client Portal, you will need to click the button labeled “Start the Application Process.”

  • You will first be required to complete the Application Prescreen, which is the first stage in the application process. Individuals will receive assistance in evaluating their fundamental eligibility for any rent and utility assistance that is available to them through the Application Prescreen.
  • Residents who meet the fundamental requirements for eligibility will be extended an invitation to register for an account in the Client Portal and submit an online application, which will require the uploading of any pertinent documentation.

Option 2: To apply to your local CAP office, download the Client Paper Application by clicking on the hyperlink below. Please deliver the paper application and all other required documents to your local CAP office.

Regarding the application for the Client Paper, please keep the following in mind:

  • If you have more than two people living in your household, each additional member of your household is required to fill out a Household Member Form; and
  • If you require assistance with more than one utility, you will be required to complete a separate Utility Assistance Form for each of the extra utilities.

Application in English:

Client Paper Application

Household Member Form

Utility Assistance Form

For a list of local CAP offices, click here. Applicants must live in the CAP office’s service region.

Application by Landlord on behalf of the Tenant

The ERA permits landlords to request rent and utility assistance on behalf of their tenants. The landlord is responsible for providing all of the tenant’s necessary documentation.

For the sake of the renter, the landlord must complete and/or furnish the following documents:

  • Paper application from the client (see above)
  • Application for a Landlord (download by clicking on the “Landlord Application” button)
  • Form for Landlord Verification (see above)
  • Form W-9 or county vendor registration (see above)
  • All other documentation required, including tenant income documents (see above)

These documents have to be turned in by landlords in person at a CAP office that is local to them. Applications to become a landlord will no longer be accepted through the Client Portal of the Department of Human Services.

To view a list of local CAP offices, together with their locations and contact information, please click here.

Landlord Application

Please Contact Us

Do you have any concerns or questions concerning the Emergency Rental Assistance program? Please contact us by calling 602-506-0589 or filling out the form on our Contact Us page. All voicemails and contact forms that have been filed will receive a response within one (1) business day.

Contact Us

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