Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) provides important support for renters and landlords affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded through federal aid, ERAP aims to help tenants with financial difficulties, preventing evictions and promoting housing stability. For landlords, this program offers assistance, allowing them to recover up to 18 months of back rent and maintain their property's financial health during these challenging times.

The program encourages cooperation between property owners and tenants, helping to reduce the pandemic's economic impact. Whether applying on behalf of tenants or navigating cases where tenants seek assistance independently, landlords find ERAP to be a helpful resource against financial instability. This initiative offers a practical approach to overcoming challenges, where supporting one another is important for recovery in Prince George's County.1

An image showing a landlord and a tenant discussing paperwork in an office setting, symbolizing cooperation and financial assistance for landlords

Application Process for ERAP

To apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), it's important to understand who can apply and what information is required. Property owners, landlords, or property managers can apply if their tenants meet the eligibility requirements, such as facing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tenants whose landlords are unwilling to apply on their behalf may also submit applications directly for utility assistance or rental aid.

Applicants must provide information to verify eligibility, including:

  • Evidence of financial setbacks due to the pandemic
  • Risk of homelessness or housing instability
  • Household income not exceeding 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI)

Required documents include a current lease, income verification, and a tenant certification form. Landlords applying on behalf of their tenants must gather this information, demonstrating collaboration and mutual support in stabilizing the living conditions of those affected by the pandemic.2

An image showing a landlord and tenant discussing paperwork in a professional setting

Partner Organizations for Application Assistance

Landlords seeking assistance with Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) applications have various resources available. In Prince George's County, the Department of Housing and Community Development provides support through:

  • A dedicated ERAP Call Center at (301) 883-6504, then press 9
  • Email support at ERAP@co.pg.md.us

These resources guide property owners through the application process step by step.

Partnerships with community non-profit organizations also offer support for landlords, making the application process easier for both property owners and their tenants. By utilizing these resources, landlords can better navigate the application requirements, ensure eligibility, and access potential benefits from the program. This support can lead to better outcomes for both landlords and tenants, promoting community stability and individual well-being.

An image showing a landlord speaking with a representative from the Department of Housing and Community Development about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program application process.

Prioritization Criteria for ERAP

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) prioritizes assistance based on vulnerability, using a set methodology to ensure aid reaches those in need quickly. Priority is given to:

  1. Households making at or below 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI)
  2. Households affected by unemployment

Individuals who have been jobless at the time of application and haven't worked in the preceding 90 days receive a faster review. This approach aims to reduce immediate housing instability risks and prioritize those at a higher risk of homelessness.

Prioritization also considers geographical vulnerability within Prince George's County, focusing on areas with higher rent burdens or overcrowded living conditions. Certain housing situations, such as dwellings with a significant proportion of occupants below 50% AMI or housing developments that received assistance from the Department of Housing and Community Development, receive prioritized attention.3 By using pandemic effect statistics and considering social factors, ERAP tailors its relief efforts to maximize the program's impact and target assistance where it can make the most significant difference in housing security.

A realistic image depicting a diverse group of people receiving financial assistance in an office setting

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) represents a collaborative effort to address the challenges brought on by the pandemic. By prioritizing those most in need and facilitating access to essential resources, ERAP plays an important role in promoting housing security and supporting communities. As we move forward, this program remains a valuable resource for many families in Prince George's County, demonstrating the importance of working together to face difficult times.

  1. Prince George's County Government. Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Prince George's County, MD. 2021.
  2. U.S. Department of the Treasury. Emergency Rental Assistance Program. 2021.
  3. National Low Income Housing Coalition. Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program. 2021.