Prince George’s County – Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

Rental Assistance Program in the Event of an Emergency

The policies of the DHCD’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) for renters and landlords have been amended. If you have filed an ERAP application and are awaiting evaluation, please review the updated ERAP policies. It is vital that you monitor your mailbox for any DHCD notifications.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is no longer accepting new applicants. If you’ve previously applied, it will be reviewed for financing and eligibility. Please monitor your mailbox for a response from a DHCD Reviewer who may require additional information. The DHCD has suspended the application system in order to handle the backlog of applications received and to ensure that funding is available for tenants and landlords who have filed applications. A notification will be sent if and when the application portal reopens.

**Please keep in mind that submitting an ERAP application does not guarantee acceptance. All applications are properly reviewed and must meet the eligibility requirements. Applications are also subject to funding availability at the time of submission. **

The Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) provides the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to landlords on behalf of renters and tenants experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 epidemic (ERAP). The United States Department of the Treasury granted the Prince George’s County, Maryland Government federal award number ERA0202 to fund this project in whole or in part.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

  • Property owners include owners, landlords, and property managers. Renters who meet the tenant eligibility requirements must occupy the property.
  • Tenants whose landlords refuse to seek restitution on their behalf
  • Tenants looking for only utility assistance

View the Tenant OR Landlord Tutorial Videos to Learn How to Apply for ERAP Quickly.

ERAP Tenant Video

ERAP Landlord Video

WHAT IS ERAP CAPABLE OF COVERING?

  • Rent that is past due for up to 18 months will be penalized beginning April 1, 2020.
  • Utility and household energy bills that are up to 18 months past due.

If eligible renters apply directly for funding, they can get up to 18 months of rental help and/or utility payment assistance because their landlord will not apply on their behalf. This support can be in the form of rental assistance or utility payment assistance.

WHAT ARE THE PREREQUISITES FOR PARTICIPATION?

In order to be eligible for assistance, a household must have a contractual responsibility to pay rent on a residential unit. Furthermore, the household must meet the following criteria:

  1. One or more members of the home qualified for unemployment benefits, saw a decrease in household income, suffered significant costs, or experienced some other sort of financial difficulty as a direct or indirect result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  2. There is a chance that one or more members of the household will become homeless or have their housing situation become insecure.
  3. The yearly income of the household is equal to or less than 80% of the region’s median annual income (AMI). Priority is given to households with earnings at or below 50% of the AMI or to households led by individuals who are now unemployed and have been so for at least 90 days.

Prioritization Criteria and Their Methodology

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will prioritize applications based on household income and location within the County that is most vulnerable, taking the following variables into account:

  • Housing Stress: Rent Burden of 50% or More of Income, Extremely crowded: 1.5 people in each room
  • The African American and Latino populations, the percentage of the total population living in poverty, and the proportion of households headed by a single parent all play a role (HH)
  • Pandemic Impact: Confirmed Cases of COVID-19, Employment in Fields With a High Risk of Layoff

View a county map of priority areas and the ERAP Census Tract, which is a priority census tract.

Those interested in renting should consider the following:

  1. The submission deadline, which will be established based on the number of applications received; and
  2. The processing of applications from renters facing eviction due to a court order will be accelerated and finished in two weeks.

To those considering becoming landlords:

  1. Rental units in census tracts that meet risk criteria such as housing stress, social factors, and pandemic effect; and 2. Rental units in census tracts that do not meet risk requirements.
  2. Landlords who applied for aid in the fall of 2020 but were denied.

TENANTS

  • The income of the household is equal to or less than 80% of the local median income (AMI); priority is given to households earning 50% or less of the AMI. Look at the graph below:
 

Household Size

Extremely low income

(30% AMI = Maximum Income)

VERY LOW INCOME

(50% AMI = Maximum Income)

LOW INCOME

(80% AMI = Maximum Income)

1 $27,100 $45,150 $57,650
2 $31,000 $51,600 $65,850
3 $34,850 $58,050 $74,100
4 $38,700 $64,500 $82,300
5 $41,800 $69,700 $88,900
6 $44,900 $74,850 $95,500
7 $48,000 $80,000 $102,100
8 $51,100 $85,150 $108,650

 

  • If the household does not have a formal lease, acceptable documents include documentation of paying the residential unit’s utilities or attestation from a landlord who can be identified as the unit’s verified or controlled agent, or other appropriate paperwork.
  • As a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, one or more members of the household qualified for unemployment or saw a decrease in household income, either directly or indirectly.
  • The DHCD will use fact-specific proxies, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development Qualified Census Tracts (QCT), to qualify based on a geographic area’s average income to comply with US Treasury standards. Property must be located in a QCT to qualify, and applicants who own rental property in a QCT will simply need to file an Income Self-Certification. There is no need for any further income documentation.

OWNERS/LANDLORDS

In addition to the standards for tenant eligibility, landlords are responsible for ensuring that they meet the following criteria:

  • The rental property must be occupied by tenants who are qualified to be tenants according to the criteria established.

WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION?

Both tenants and landlords who want assistance from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program are required to provide the documentation that is listed below along with their application for the program. Check out our document guide titled “Documents for a Successful Application” to learn how to compile all of the essential paperwork for your application.

Landlord-Related Applications

Landlords must provide their name, address, and, if available, their Social Security numbers, tax identification numbers, and DUNS numbers.

Verification of Income (Request from Tenant)

Tenants may submit evidence to verify their household income for the year 2020 or their monthly income for 2021. Depending on the timeframe for which you are confirming income, the income of all members of your household who are 18 years old or older and are not enrolled full-time in an approved institution or university may be confirmed using either the Calendar Year 2020 or the Monthly Income 2021 options. Among others, the following sorts of papers are included:

  • For the year 2020, you must provide either a W-2, a 1040 income tax form, a signed W-9, a combination of a W-2 and 1099 (if you are unemployed), a paystub for the month of December 2020, 12 months of bank statements, and a written letter (attestation) from your employer stating your annual income OR a paystub for the month of December 2020.
  • A minimum of one month’s worth of most recent paystubs, other wage statements, or bank records demonstrating continuous income; or an employer’s attestation. Monthly Income 2021 requires this.
  • A copy of the most current statement must be submitted if any member of the household gets Social Security or any other monthly government income or benefits.
  • If a pension statement exists, any member of the household must give an up-to-date copy of it.
  • If they apply, they must provide current copies of any alimony or child support payments.
  • Copies of each individual’s unemployment benefits claim for each impacted member of the household

ADDITIONAL TENANT DOCUMENTS

  • Permission to Disclose Tenant’s Client Information
  • Tenant Eligibility Documentation attesting, either directly or indirectly, to the severity of the COVID-19 hardship

DOCUMENTS OF LANDLORD

  • Rent Ledger
  • A copy of the lease’s first and last pages, which list the tenants’ names (which must match those on the applicant(s)’ application).
  • A W-9 form copy for the landlord
  • The Property’s Title Deed
  • Enrollment Form for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) for the PGC via the Automated Clearing House (ACH)
  • If It Is Necessary:
    • Agent or Management Contract
    • Executed Trust Agreement (if owned by a Trust)
    • In lieu of the current lease, the Landlord’s Attestation

Tenant Application Forms

If a household does not have a formal lease, proof of paying utilities for the residential unit, an attestation by a landlord who can be identified as the property’s verified or controlled agent, or other applicable papers are acceptable.

Income Verification

Tenants can view their family income for the calendar year 2020 or monthly income for the calendar year 2021. Income can be verified using one of the options listed for the timeframe you are verifying income – The calendar Year 2020 or monthly income 2021 – for all household members age 18 and older who are not full-time college students. Documents may include, but are not limited to:

  • W-2, 1040 income tax form, signed W-9, a combination of W-2 and 1099 (in case of unemployment), December 2020 paystub, 12 months of bank statements, written letter (attestation) from employer stating annual income OR
  • A minimum of one month’s worth of most recent paystubs, other wage statements, or bank statements indicating monthly income; or an employer attestation for Monthly Income 2021.
  • Any member of the family should have a recent copy of their Social Security or, if applicable, any monthly government income/benefits.
  • If applicable, any member of the household should receive a recent copy of their pension statement.
  • Current copies of alimony or child support payments, if applicable
  • Copies of unemployment benefits for each affected household member

DOCUMENTS CONCERNING OTHER TENANTS

  • Tenant Authorization for Client Information
  • Tenants’ eligibility for COVID-19 hardship attestation OR comprehensive written declaration confirming income reduction or loss as a result of COVID-19 hardship

If applicable, utility bill (s)

  • Copies of past-due utility bills (no more than 18 months old)

Forms/Documents for Landlords:

  • A copy of the landlord’s signed W-9 Form
  • PGC Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Enrollment Form/Automated Clearing House (ACH)
  • Landlord Rental Assistance Agreement
  • Rental Ledger
  • A landlord’s attestation is required in lieu of a current lease.

CAN YOU ASSIST ME WITH THE APPLICATION?

The Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development has created relationships with a number of non-profit community organizations to help county landlords and tenants in completing the application and submitting it through the appropriate online portal. This category includes the following groups:

Casa de Maryland – Council District 2
8151 15th Avenue
Langley Park, MD 20783
240.491.5763 (call to make an appointment)*

Housing Initiative Partnership, Inc. (HIP) – Council District 2
6525 Belcrest Road, Suite 555
Hyattsville, MD 20782
667-260-7728 (call to make an appointment)*

Centro De Apoyo Familiar (CAF) – Council District 3
6901 Kenilworth Avenue, Suite 110
Riverdale, MD 20737
301.328.3292 (call to make an appointment)*

Sowing Empowerment & Economic Development, Inc. (SEED) – Council District 3
6201 Riverdale Road, Ste 200
Riverdale, MD 20737
301.458.9808 (call to make an appointment)*

Laurel Advocacy Referral Service (LARS) (District 1)
311 Laurel Avenue
Laurel, MD 20707
301.776.0442
Serving zip codes 20707 and 20708
Appointments can be booked online at:
LARS ERA Assistance

United Communities Against Poverty, Inc. (UCAP) – Council District 6
1400 Doewood Lane
Capitol Heights, MD 20743
301.322.5700 (call to drop off application package)

Mission of Love (MOLC) – Council District 7
6180 Old Central Avenue
Capitol Heights, MD 20743
301.333-4440 (call to make an appointment)

Housing Options & Planning Enterprises, Inc. – Council District 8
6188 Oxon Hill Road, Suite 700
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
301.567-3330 (call to make an appointment)*

*Staff who are fluent in two languages

All of the organizations described above follow the CDC’s recommendations, which include, but are not limited to, utilizing face masks, washing hands, sanitizing equipment and seating, keeping social distance, and limiting the number of individuals allowed in workplaces.
It is feasible to provide deaf or hard of hearing people with interpreting services and sign language. To obtain these services, please call 301-883-5540 or the TTY line at (301) 883-5428.

Prince George’s County’s commitment to diversity and inclusion includes affirmatively promoting equal opportunity and not discriminate on the basis of a person’s race, color, gender, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, or familial status in admission or access to benefits in programs or activities.

SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETING AN APPLICATION

You can learn about the forms and information DHCD needs to submit your application for emergency rental assistance and utility assistance by viewing this presentation titled: How to Submit a Successful Application. In addition to the community non-profit organizations that were mentioned previously, you can also learn about these requirements by viewing this presentation.

WINNER NOTIFICATION AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

After you submit your application, you will no longer be able to access the portal to make any further changes to it unless the DHCD gives you special instructions to do so. After analyzing your application, DHCD will contact you via e-mail if there are any discrepancies or missing information in your application. It is critical that you check your e-mail frequently for any messages from the DHCD.

Even if you apply for financial assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, there is no guarantee that you will get the whole amount. DHCD will assess your application, and approval is conditional on funds being available. After DHCD has finished examining your application, you will get an email with a notice of approval that contains the dollar amount of the permitted rental assistance. Landlords will be given the Rental Assistance Agreement, which is a non-negotiable contract. Before they can move in, tenants will be handed an affidavit that must be certified. To get payment, all parties involved must provide an acknowledgment that they accept the final amount of assistance determined by DHCD.

It is feasible to provide deaf or hard of hearing people with interpreting services and sign language. If you want these services, please contact Adedamola George, the Compliance Officer, at (301) 883-5576 or (301) 883-5428.

Prince George’s County’s commitment to diversity and inclusion includes affirmatively promoting equal opportunity and not discriminate on the basis of a person’s race, color, gender, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, or familial status in admission or access to benefits in programs or activities.

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