Jackson County Program to Assist with Temporary Housing Expenses
Information on the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
Who is eligible to apply for rent help through this program?
If a renter meets one of the following conditions, they are deemed eligible for ERAP assistance:
- Is eligible for unemployment benefits or has experienced a decrease in household income, significant costs, or a challenging financial condition as a result of COVID-19
- The individual has a higher risk of becoming homeless or experiencing housing instability
- The annual income of the household is at or below 80% of the area’s median income.
If the renter’s household income is at or below fifty percent of the area median income, or if the family has a worker who has been unemployed for at least ninety days prior to applying for rental assistance, the application will be prioritized for assistance.
The Prioritization Policy
In Jackson County, the Emergency Rental Aid Program (ERAP) prioritizes households with incomes at or below 50% of the area median income and/or households with at least one member who has been jobless for 90 days or more at the time the application for assistance is submitted.
What bills are eligible for aid with payment?
Rent arrears, future rent, and utility expenses can all be met by the available funds. The phrase “utilities” may apply to waste collection, electricity, gas, sewage, water, or even alternate types of energy such as propane, according to the law. A lot of variables influence an applicant’s eligibility, and certain candidates may be ineligible for particular types of assistance.
Who is in charge of determining which expenses are eligible for reimbursement?
The federal government provided financing for this effort as part of the ERAP. These funds are subject to conditions for their proper application. On a local level, Jackson County awarded these funds to the United Way of Greater Kansas City and the Community Services League for their respective monitoring duties (CSL). CSL is serving as a bill payment coordinator and is recruiting other Jackson County-based organizations to assist families.
How would I go about obtaining the financial assistance?
Your payments are sent directly to utility companies or landlords on your behalf, and the total amount paid is subtracted from your account’s available credit. Individual payments will not be made under any circumstances, with the exception of those expressly permitted by law. Despite our efforts to process applications as quickly as possible, the entire process could take anywhere from six to eight weeks to complete.
How do I go about requesting assistance?
The call for applications was initially posted online on April 5, 2021. Applicants who are interested in the post should first review the Application Checklist in order to gather the essential documents.
If this is your first time applying, we suggest that you first apply for the Missouri LIHEAP (utility assistance) program since you may be eligible for assistance that is not covered by the ERAP. Please keep in mind that while applying for LIHEAP is not required, it is strongly suggested.
Following the submission of your application, it will be evaluated to determine whether or not it meets the program’s requirements. Your submitted contact information will be used to keep you informed about the process’s following phases.
What information do you need for an application?
Please have all of your outstanding invoices ready and in front of you at the same time in order to effectively complete the online application. You will be asked to take a picture of yourself as well as upload a copy of any past-due bills.
You will also be required to produce documentation that your household’s income is at or below 80% of the area’s median income. To do this, you will need copies of your most recent pay stubs, an SSI award letter, a TANF letter, a survivor benefits letter, and any other relevant letters. Before you begin filling out your application, make sure you’ve seen our Application Checklist and have all of the necessary information on hand.
Is it even possible for funds to be exhausted to the point where they are no longer available?
Jackson County has received $11,550,000 in financing from the ERAP. The processing sequence will be determined by the order in which we receive applications. The law states that households with an adult who has been unemployed for 90 days or more at the time the application is submitted and/or resides at or below 50 percent of the AMI (Area Median Income) receive first preference for assistance. Furthermore, the Jackson County Legislature passed a clause requiring CSL to give fast help to persons whose cases are currently ongoing in Jackson County court (eviction proceedings).
Is there a deadline for the application I need to submit?
Recent legislation implemented as part of the American Rescue Plan has delayed the deadline until 2022; nevertheless, we believe that money will be drained much sooner. We strongly suggest every household to submit an application as soon as possible.