You should consider participating in this program if you meet the following criteria:
- A landlord whose rent-paying tenants have fallen behind on their payments.
- A tenant who has fallen behind on their rent and/or utilities in the apartment in which they are now residing and requires assistance in making such payments.
- If your household income is less than 80 percent of the typical income in your neighborhood, you are a renter.
For qualified households, up to 15 months of rent and utility assistance may be made available to them.
A tenant or a landlord may submit a rental assistance application on behalf of a renter who qualifies for assistance. Both tenants and landlords must submit applications using the website www.ms-ramp.com. Landlords and utility service providers will receive direct payments, as would other businesses.
An “eligible household,” according to the United States Department of the Treasury, is defined as a rental residence in which at least one member fits the following criteria:
- Qualifies for unemployment benefits or has experienced a fall in household income as a result of an unexpected event
- Displays a significant economic or financial hardship as a result of COVID-19; indicates a danger of homelessness or housing instability;
- Its household income is at or below 80% of the region’s average household income, or both.
The submission of documentation is required in order to demonstrate eligibility.
Qualifying households that receive a monthly government subsidy may be eligible for rental assistance for the tenant-owed component of their rent under the MS RAMP program.
Prioritization of Emergencies in accordance with Policy
Additionally, the RAMP-ERA Program may prioritize applications in cases where a tenant applicant is in imminent danger of being evicted or experiencing a utility disconnection, in addition to prioritizing assistance for households with incomes less than 50% of the area median income or households with one or more individuals who have not been employed for the 90 days preceding the date of application. Upon receiving notification from a tenant applicant, a utility provider, a landlord, a government official, or an outreach agency, the RAMP-ERA Program may decide to escalate the review and expedite payment if the threatened eviction or disconnection is expected to take place within ten (10) days of receipt of the notification letter. It is possible that the RAMP-ERA Program will need documentation of impending eviction or utility shutoff (i.e. court summons, eviction notice, disconnect notice). RAMP-ERA Program will not prioritize applications if it determines that the eviction or disconnection concerns raised are unfounded or invalid. Because of this Policy, the RAMP-ERA Program can achieve its ultimate goal of assisting vulnerable populations in preserving their homes and basic necessities.