Nebraska – Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

Program for Immediate Assistance with Monthly Rent Payments (known as ERA)

The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program provides a total of $158 million available to assist low-income households in the state of Nebraska that are unable to pay their rent or their utilities as a direct result of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Please familiarize yourself with the application user guide and the eligibility requirements before submitting an application. This will allow you to determine whether or not you are qualified to submit an application and will also familiarize you with the necessary procedures and supporting documentation. The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program is open only to people who are currently renting an apartment or home; homeowners do not qualify for this program under any circumstances.

The state of Nebraska will remain accepting applications for the ERA program through September 9, 2022, supposing that the United States Treasury would continue to make money available.

APPLY NOW FOR ERA

RESOURCES

FAQs Concerning the PROGRAM

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TOP 10 APPLICATION TIPS

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Instructions for the Landlord Application User Guide

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LANDLORD APPLICATION USER GUIDE

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IMPORTANT DETAILS

Telephone Number for the Customer Service Center

+1 (833) 500-8810

From Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST).

Residents of the cities of Lincoln and Omaha, as well as Lancaster County and Douglas County, will not be able to participate in the Nebraska Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Please contact the following for additional information on programs that are run at the local level:

  • For rental information for Lancaster County and the City of Lincoln, go to http://www.lincoln.ne.gov/rent or call +1 (402) 413-2085.
  • The City of Omaha’s website is http://macchconnect.org/. (Because of the high call volume, you should only use this phone number, +1 (402) 957-1747, if you do not have internet access.)
  • For additional information about rental aid in Douglas County, call +1 (402) 616-2330 or visit https://copeinfo.org/rent-assist.

OVERVIEW

Because of the extensive COVID-19 outbreak, the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program has set aside 158 million dollars to assist low-income households in Nebraska who are unable to pay their rent or utilities.

Assuming that funds are still available from the US Treasury, the state of Nebraska will continue to receive ERA applications through September 9, 2022.

Because Lancaster County, the City of Lincoln, Douglas County, and the City of Omaha will all be running their own Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs, tenants in Douglas and Lancaster Counties will be excluded from the Nebraska Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program for the time being.

ELIGIBILITY

Household Qualifications Required

You are qualified if you can answer the following questions affirmatively:

  • You dwell in Nebraska.
  • Because you do not dwell in Douglas or Lancaster County, you cannot call them your home.
  • You are a tenant who currently has a valid home lease or rental agreement.
  • Your household’s income is currently sufficient to meet the standards. The 80 percent income qualifying limit by county is listed in Appendix A, along with the area median income (AMI).
  • You are a US citizen or a legal permanent resident.
  • Your landlord is not currently a member of your household.
  • Furthermore, if you answer “yes” to ONE of the following questions, you are eligible for the giveaway:
  • You are unable to pay all or a portion of your monthly rent due to a COVID-19 qualified financial hardship (e.g., qualify for unemployment, have experienced a reduction in household income, or incurred significant costs)
  • You can establish that you are in danger of being homeless or experiencing housing insecurity (e.g. past due notice, proof of non-payment of rent, or eviction notice)

The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program can only be used to pay for the percentage of rent and utility bills that are not covered by other rental assistance programs, generally known as out-of-pocket rent and utilities. This is true even if you receive financial aid from other federally funded rental assistance programs.

FUNDS ELIGIBLE APPLICATIONS

The funds can be used to pay for rent and utilities up to a maximum of $20,000 for the term of the program.

  • You can apply for up to a year’s worth of back rent (the earliest date this can be done is April 1, 2020), as well as up to three months of future rent, starting from the date the application is submitted.
  • Once your initial application is approved, you will be able to submit additional applications for extra rent or utility assistance, but you will be limited to a total of 15 months of financial help.
  • Late fees are qualifying charges; however, they will be limited to no more than 10% of the approved rent paid, providing that the total assistance provided to each household does not exceed the maximum assistance allowed.

Utilities

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Garbage collection and disposal services
  • Energy Expenses Including Fuel Oil

Please keep in mind that you will only be reimbursed for utilities that you paid for in addition to your rent. Telephone, cable, and Internet services delivered to a rental residence are not considered utilities.

APPLICANTS WHO ARE INELIGIBLE

It’s possible that there are other programs available to help you. The COVID-19 Resources webpage may be found on the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority’s website at https://www.nifa.org/emergency-response-info.

HOW DO I APPLY?

Before submitting an application, please read the application user guide and eligibility requirements. This will help you to assess whether or not you are eligible to apply, as well as the actions you must take and the documentation you must submit as part of your application.

At the moment, the evaluation procedure can take between two and three weeks after an application is received before a decision on financing is made. The applications will be rated in order of priority for review, which may reduce the time given. We appreciate your patience at this time and urge that you keep an eye on the status of your application online. When a decision on the review is reached, a notification will be sent to your email address.

WARNING: The length of time it will take to review your application is directly related to how thoroughly it has been completed. Before submitting your application, please double-check that all parts have been completed and all essential materials have been uploaded. There is a chance that the processing will be delayed if you do not comply. You will NOT be able to alter your application once it has been submitted. Please ensure that you have read the user guide in its entirety before beginning your online application.

When should it be used:

The application period has started. Households qualified for this program will be able to receive rent assistance beginning April 1, 2020, and continuing until the expected operating date of September 9, 2022.

Assuming that funds are still available from the US Treasury, the state of Nebraska will continue to receive ERA applications through September 9, 2022.

Instructions for completing the application:

The Application User Guide describes how to navigate the online application portal, outlines the documents and information required to complete the application process, and specifies the questions that may appear on the online application form.

In order for your application to be deemed complete, you must upload the following documents:

  • Evidence of financial damage as a result of COVID-19 (e.g., employment verification of loss of employment, unemployment, etc.)
  • Currently in effect lease or rental contract
  • A driver’s license or other government-issued photo identification with the householder’s photograph
  • Documentation attesting to the present income of each family member who is obligated to file taxes (e.g., recent pay stubs, layoff letter, unemployment claim, contribution statement, etc.)
  • (If applicable) supporting documentation for additional months of financial assistance, such as a rent statement, rent notices with an unpaid balance, or other similar documents.

For further information on the papers that must be used or uploaded as part of the application process, please consult the Application User Guide. Documents should be uploaded in PDF format to ease evaluation.

Please be informed that paper-based applications will not be accepted in order to satisfy the community’s high level of rental aid demand, which necessitates faster processing.

COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR CONFORMITY

Furthermore, by submitting this application, Landlords and Tenants acknowledge and agree to comply with all applicable program eligibility and compliance requirements, as well as the fact that they will be subject to oversight, monitoring, and/or audit by the State of Nebraska, The Treasury Office of Inspector General, or their designees. Instances of confirmed noncompliance may result in monetary restitution and/or suspension from participation in both the current assistance program and any future assistance programs that may become available.

These eligibility compliance agreements include the following items:

  • Accepting responsibility for adhering to the Grant Agreement Requirements and Conditions, which include, but are not limited to, adhering to any and all federal laws, rules, executive orders, policies, procedures, and directives applicable to the circumstance at hand.
  • Although the State of Nebraska will make public reports on how the monies were spent, no personally identifying information on Landlords or Tenants who participated in this program will be made public. Despite the fact that the State of Nebraska would publish public reports on how the funds were spent, this is the case.
  • Confirmation that the application contains all of the relevant information and is complete.
  • Acceptance of the terms, which include the withdrawal of any previously provided seven-day notice and an agreement not to evict the tenant on the basis of back rents or during months of future rent paid through the program; acceptance of the payment for back rent as payment in full; and withdrawal of any previously provided seven-day notice. Acceptance of the terms by the landlord, which includes the withdrawal of any previously provided seven-day notice and acceptance of payment for back rent as full payment for that rent.

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