Polk County – Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

ERAP Online Application

Through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, IMPACT Community Action Partnership helps Polk County households, especially those in the City of Des Moines, pay their rent and utility bills (ERAP). Residents of Des Moines and Polk County who meet the requirements for this program have the opportunity to receive assistance for a period of up to one year. Applicants need to be able to demonstrate that a COVID-related impact on their household income has had an effect on their ability to pay rent in order to be considered for this program. In order for households to be considered for financial assistance, they must also be behind on their rent. Please call the number 515-518-4770 if you need assistance with your utilities.

Households can submit their information using the online application. If you are unable to submit your application online, please get in touch with us so that we may explore the other available options.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Rental Assistance Applicants

The CDC Eviction Moratorium will be lifted on August 26, 2021, according to the United States Supreme Court.

If you are about to be evicted, please visit this website for more information and resources.

​If you have been served with an eviction notice, please contact Iowa Legal Aid at 1-800-532-1275.


  • Renter households with incomes less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI)
  • Households must be in arrears on their rent to be eligible.
  • One or more members of the household have qualified for unemployment benefits OR have seen a loss in household income as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and have incurred significant costs as a result of the outbreak, either directly or indirectly.


  • Renter households earning more than 80% of the median income AMI
  • The coronavirus outbreak had no effect on renter dwellings.
  • Households that are unable to provide the required documentation
  • Households headed by a homeowner

The following is the application process:

  • Go here to learn more about the ERAP online application.
  • If you are unable to apply online, please call 515-518-4770 to discuss your alternatives.

Reapplication Procedure:

  • Renters can now seek assistance for future unpaid months via our online application. If you cannot apply online, please contact us at 515-518-4770 to discuss your options.
  • Renters are eligible for up to 12 months of help while funds are available.

The following information should be known by landlords:

  • Landlords will be required to verify tenant information and agree to waive all late fees and penalties as part of the landlord certification process. If a landlord refuses, payment may be sent straight to the applicant.
  • Landlords can assist tenants in completing the application. For further information, please email landlords@impactcap.org.

Q: If I apply, would I be assured assistance?

A: No, completing an application does not ensure that you will receive assistance. If you do not meet the standards, which include income and loss due to COVID, your application will be declined.

Only applications that are completely filled out and include the required documentation in a clear, legible way will be evaluated for eligibility. If you require further information or documents, please respond as soon as possible. If we do not get your information in a timely manner, we will reject your application.

Landlords must also complete the required verification and certification, as well as agree to the terms of the help. If a landlord fails to produce the necessary certification and agrees to the terms of assistance within 10 days of initial contact, the tenant’s application will be reimbursed directly if it is complete and granted.

General FAQs

Q: Do I have to have been impacted by COVID-19 in order to be eligible for this program?

A: Certainly. You must demonstrate that COVID-19 has directly or indirectly caused you economic or financial hardship.

Q: Do I have to be late on my rent to qualify for this program?

A: You must be in arrears on your rent to be eligible for the ERAP program.

Q: Do renters on unemployment benefits qualify?

A: Yes, if all other conditions are met.

Q: Can I use the relief for purposes other than rent?

A: You can also seek assistance with past-due utility bills. The funds can only be used to cover rent and utilities.

Q: Can I use the relief to pay my rent?

A: Certainly. The monies will be used to pay off past-due rent initially. Funds cannot be used to pay past-due rent before April 1, 2020.

Q: If I qualify, how long will I be eligible for assistance?

A: The program offers cash assistance for up to 12 months. Any remaining months of eligibility will be eligible for future rent assistance in three-month increments after paying all past-due rent after March 13, 2020. Applicants must reapply for further rental assistance every three months. This money will be given out until the funds run out, at which point applicants can apply to the Iowa Finance Authority’s Rent and Utility Assistance Program.

Q: Is there a deadline for submitting my application?

There is no set deadline for submitting applications. Applications will be accepted until all funds are expended or IMPACT declares an end to application submissions.

Q: How will I be compensated if my application is accepted?

A: Payments will be made directly to landlords and applied to the tenant’s rent. Payments will be made with checks. Exceptions may be allowed if landlords refuse to cooperate.

Q: I own real estate. Is it feasible to get assistance with my mortgage payment?

No, it does not. Only qualifying households who are required to pay rent on a residential dwelling are eligible for program support. Please contact your mortgage company for assistance.

Q: I’m about to make my first property purchase. Can I apply for financial assistance to cover my contract payments?

A: No, it does not. Only qualifying households who are required to pay rent on a residential dwelling are eligible for program support. If you are at risk of losing your home, we strongly advise you to contact Iowa Legal Aid.

Q: Can I apply for assistance with a second home or vacation home?

A: No, the assisted rental property must be the applicant’s primary residence.


Angela Silva

Angela Silva, a dedicated 42-year-old consultant specializing in government housing and rental assistance, hails from Sydney, Australia. She completed her education with a degree in Urban Planning from the University of New South Wales. Angela’s career has been marked by her relentless advocacy for affordable housing solutions, where she has worked extensively with both local governments and international agencies in Asia-Pacific regions. Her initiatives have led to the development of sustainable housing projects that cater to low-income families. Outside of her professional environment, Angela enjoys a peaceful life with her partner and their two adopted dogs, engaging in community gardening and urban sustainability projects.


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