Luzerne County

Luzerne County Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Families in Luzerne County that are unable to pay their rent and/or utility bills as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for assistance through the Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program. Rental households are the only ones who qualify for assistance. Ineligibility for mortgage or utility payment assistance is limited to homeowners only.

This program is supported by the federal government, and we continue to get regular updates on program criteria. The content of this application and the paperwork necessary may change as a result of federal guidelines.

The Luzerne County Office of Community Development is collecting applications through the CEO on their behalf.

Please examine the eligibility requirements and application procedures outlined below before proceeding with the application:

You must meet all of the eligibility requirements, which are as follows:

1. You must be a renter who resides in Luzerne County in order to qualify.

2. You must be eligible for unemployment benefits or have had a drop in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 in order to be eligible.

3. You must establish that you are at danger of facing homelessness or a loss of residential stability.

4. Your gross household income must be less than the income levels listed below in order to qualify.

Household Size Maximum Yearly Income
1 $39,550
2 $45,200
3 $50,850
4 $56,500
5 $56,500
6 $61,550
7 $70,100
8 $74,600

In order to proceed with an application, the following information must be provided:

The following information must be provided by the tenant:

  • Renter Application: Fill out online here, or print or download a copy of the application here. Before submitting the application, it must be signed or e-signed by the applicant. Unless otherwise specified, all required documents are uploaded as part of the online application and do not need to be completed or submitted separately.
  • Photographic identification for all adults living in the household (front and back).
    You must provide a copy of the written lease or, if the lease is a verbal agreement, you must complete the Landlord and Renter Certification, which must include both parts filled and two signatures. Fill out the form and print or download it here.
  • A copy of the most recent rental payment receipt. The documentation submitted must include the renter’s name, the date and amount of the tenant’s most recent payment, as well as the tenant’s check number if the tenant made the payment by check. Acceptable paperwork can include a cancelled check, payment ledger, dated and signed rent receipt, or any other documentation that the CEO deems appropriate..
  • You must provide documentation of ALL gross income, either your income* from the past 30 days prior to application date or a copy of your already filed 2020 Tax Return (IRS 1040). W-2s are not acceptable forms of verification of income. Make sure to include ALL of your gross income, including earned (i.e. income statements, a letter from your employer, and paystubs) and unearned (i.e. child support, private pensions, social security retirement, social security disability (SSD), supplemental security income (SSI), TANF, unemployment compensation, utility reimbursements, Veterans Disability, Veterans Pension, and workers’ compensation). If your household has no income, please fill out the claim of zero income form to let us know.

    If you’re asking utility assistance, make sure to include copies of your bills. Please advise your utility company that you are submitting an application for financial help.

    In the event that you prefer to complete a paper application, you must sign and submit an Applicant Certification form. Click here to print or download the document.

In order to be certain that you have everything, here is a renter checklist to use!

Please keep in mind that you can only request rent and/or utility assistance for a total of 12 months. For more information, please see the following document: Guidance on the maximum number of months of support.

Information that the landlord is required to provide – You must request that your landlord complete the application and supply the supporting papers listed below:.

  • Fill out the Landlord Application online here, or print or download a copy of it. Prior to submission, the document must be signed. As part of the online application process, you must upload all of your supporting documents.
  • A photocopy of your state-issued identification card (front and back). If the property owner is a limited liability company (LLC) or if you are the managing representative for the owner, please supply a copy of the management agreement or proof of LLC ownership, as well as a photo ID for yourself as the applicant.
  • W-9 Form – Fill out and print or save it to your computer. Prior to submission, the document must be signed.
  • Proof of ownership of the leased property is required.
  • A copy of the deed or sales contract, the most recent property tax receipt, a copy of the mortgage, or proof of homeowner’s or flood insurance from the most recent year are all acceptable proofs of ownership documents but are not limited to these.
    Either you or your tenant is responsible for providing the following items:

    • You must provide a copy of the written lease or, if the lease is a verbal agreement, you must complete the Landlord and Renter Certification, which must include both parts filled and two signatures. Fill out the form and print or download it here.
    • A copy of the most recent rental payment receipt. The documentation submitted must include the renter’s name, the date and amount of the tenant’s most recent payment, as well as the tenant’s check number if the tenant made the payment by check. Acceptable paperwork can include a cancelled check, payment ledger, dated and signed rent receipt, or any other documentation that the CEO deems appropriate.
  • If you choose to receive rental payments using an automated clearing house (ACH), you must complete the ACH Authorization Agreement. Click here to print or download the document.

Please see landlord checklist to make certain you have everything you need!

To begin the application process, all required documents must be sent to CEO. Applications that are not comprehensive will not be evaluated.

If you submit an online application, all of your attachments will be submitted automatically. Application for a renter online. Online application for a landlord. If you choose to complete a paper application, the entire packet must be mailed or dropped off at the appropriate location.

Send a letter to:

Commission on Economic Opportunity
P.O. Box 1126
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703-1126

Drop-off:

You should place your documents in an envelope and address it to COVID Rent and Utility Assistance, which is located at 165 Amber Lane in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Drop-off is accepted at the front entrance from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

If you have any questions, please contact COVID at 570-826-0510 and ask for the Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance program, or send an email at ceorentrelief@gmail.com.