Montana – Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

PROGRAM TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE WITH EMERGENCY RENT IN MONTANA

Regarding the Emergency Rental Assistance and Homeownership Assistance Fund programs that are offered in the state of Montana

Get in Touch With Us Here

Residents of Montana who are in danger of losing their homes because to financial troubles caused by the COVID-19 outbreak are eligible for assistance through the Montana Emergency Rental Assistance program.

The program is funded by the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act (ERA1) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ERA2). The 67th Montana Legislature appropriated these funds to Montana Housing through House Bill 3, House Bill 630, and House Bill 632.

Assistance Is Available

Households that qualify for assistance can start receiving it as soon as April 1, 2020 for the following reasons:

  • Past due and future rent (maximum monthly rent of $2,200)
  • Homeowners can receive assistance with current and future utility bills for home energy costs, up to a monthly maximum of $500 per eligible utility. (Effective February 22nd, 2022; an increase from the prior monthly total of $300)
  • Internet service is overdue and will be delivered in the future ($50 per month).
  • Late fees for past-due rent (reasonable late fees as supported by lease agreement or landlord verification)
  • Rental security deposit not paid
  • Rental property application and credit check fees

First, determine whether or not you meet the requirements.

Step 1: This step will aid you in establishing whether or not your household is eligible for rent and utility assistance. In order to qualify, eligible households must meet all of the conditions.

Examine Your Qualifications Here

Step 2: Gather the Required Documents or Seek Help with the Application

To best prepare yourself, you should complete this step before beginning your application. This includes any required papers and information, as well as instructions on how to set up an Okta account and access resources to aid in the application process.

Ascertain that your application is complete.

A Step-by-Step Video on How to Create an OKTA Account for Your Tenancy

Learn how to set up an OKTA account for your rental property in this video.

Step 3: Implement It

You are now ready to submit an application after completing Steps 1 and 2.

How to Fill Out a Tenant Application

How to Fill Out a Landlord Application

Questions? View our Frequently Asked Questions.

APPLY HERE

What steps should you follow after submitting your application?

When you have completed your application, a notification will show on your screen informing you that your new application has been submitted to the online system.

In the online portal, a prominent tracker will be shown at the top of your application, allowing you to check the status of your application at any moment. The five basic application states are New, Submitted, In Review, Quality Control Review, and Approved. In the New state, new applications begin.

  • When an application is marked “New,” it means that either the renter or the landlord has completed their portion of the application, but the other party has yet to complete their portion.
  • When an application is marked “Submitted,” it means that both the renter and the landlord have completed their portions of the application.
  • “In Review” signifies that the application is presently being reviewed by Montana Housing personnel to determine whether or not the applicant is eligible and to ensure that all required documentation has been given.
  • When you hear the phrase “Quality Control Assessment,” it means that a member of the Montana Housing team is conducting a secondary review of the application to verify payment calculations and ensure that we have all of the information necessary to successfully execute a payment.
  • When an application receives the “Approved” status, it means that it has been approved by Quality Control Review. After that, an authorized Montana Housing manager will authorize the payments.

If there is something missing from the application or more explanation is needed, the application may be marked as “tenant pending information” or “landlord pending information.” This means that the application is now open for either the landlord or the tenant to upload supporting evidence or clarify any answers they provided on the application.

Payments for applications that have been judged appropriate are entered into the state accounting system on a daily basis if help is approved. The time it takes to receive payment is directly proportionate to whether the funds are delivered in the form of a check or an electronic fund transfer. Assistance may take seven to ten business days to be given out by cheque.

Applicants who were examined and deemed to be ineligible to participate in the program will get an email notification explaining why they were rejected.

Assistance Covered Time Period

The following Emergency Rental Assistance will be granted in accordance with the Consolidated Appropriations Act (ERA1):

  • The total sum of previous and future rent and utility bills cannot usually exceed one year.
  • Additional payments will be granted if it is decided that they are required to preserve home stability for an additional three months, up to a total of 15 months (subject to available funds).
  • Priority is given to getting people up on past due rent and energy bills before assisting with future payments.
  • Any application for future rent payment help is limited to three months of assistance.

For the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ERA2) Temporary Assistance for Housing Needs program:

  • The total sum of past and future rent and utility expenses cannot exceed 18 months.
  • Any application for future rent payment help is limited to three months of assistance.
  • Applicants who completed the maximum of 15 months in ERA1 may be eligible for an additional three months in ERA2.

Program Specifics

The state of Montana is required by the Emergency Rental Assistance program and the United States Department of the Treasury to give priority to assisting households with incomes less than fifty percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or households with one or more members who have been unemployed for ninety days prior to the date on which they submit their application for assistance.

Montana Housing performs frequent evaluations of the annual incomes of applicants who are authorized for assistance to calculate the percentage of households that are between 0 and 30% of AMI, 30% and 50% of AMI, and 50% and 80% of AMI. This helps to ensure that the program assists households with incomes at or below 50% of the Area Median Income.

Montana Housing assessed the annual income of applicants who received assistance between April 5 and December 31 of the following year, 2021. Through the end of the 2021 calendar year, 11% of the households that received financing had incomes that were greater than 50% of the AMI but less than 80% of the AMI. If, after a regular review of the annual incomes of households served, it is determined that more than half of the households receiving assistance fall within the range of fifty to eighty percent of the area median income (AMI), Montana Housing will make changes to the program’s outreach, marketing, and administration to meet the prioritization requirements outlined by the United States Department of the Treasury.

The Montana Emergency Rental Assistance program’s publications are made possible in part or wholly by federal grant numbers ERA0425 and ERAE0032 awarded by the United States Department of the Treasury to the State of Montana.

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